Harvard Business School Renames Building to Honor Its First Black Tenured Faculty Member

Harvard Business School has announced that it is removing the name of Carter Glass from a building on its campus. Glass served in the U.S. House of Representatives for Virginia from 1902-1917 and as U.S. Treasury Secretary from 1918-1920. He served in the U.S. Senate for another 26 years until his death in 1946. Glass was a proponent of segregationist policies in his home state, including poll taxes and literacy requirements that prevented many thousands of Black citizens from voting.

In a statement to the business school community Dean Nitin Nohria wrote that “we cannot allow the Glass name to remain at the school, even while we recognize and cannot forget that it has been a fact of our history for 75 years. It is important that members of our community see themselves in our spaces and take pride in those whose names define our physical landscape.”

The building will now be known as Cash House. It will honor James I. Cash, a former professor at the business school. Born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, he was the first African American to accept a basketball scholarship in the Southwest Conference after signing on at Texas Christian University in 1965. After receiving a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in computer science from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, Dr. Cash joined the faculty at Harvard Business School in 1976. In 1985, he became the first Black tenured professor at the business school.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Another symbolic “after the fact” accolade from Harvard University. Instead of just naming a building after a Black American man who was probably mistreated during that time you should appropriate an endowed chairmanship in his name along with millions set aside for scholarships for those who share a similar phenotype as Dr. Cash. Anything less is nothing more than an insult.

  2. I am happy to say that professor Cash was supportive of diversity initiatives while I was student at HBS between 1989-1991. He also continued to support diversity work I was doing in South Africa years after my graduation. This is a well deserved honor.

  3. Congratulations Dr. Cash.

    I remember James Cash as a college basketball player because I am a basketball cognoscente and educated in the Cradle of Intellectual America.

    We cannot say this is the house that Cash built. But, we can say that Cash House was greatly enhanced by his presence and tenure.

    Sincerely,

    James A. Johnson, Esq.

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