Virginia State University has announced new names for four buildings on campus. The board of visitors approved renaming each of the four buildings to honor Black alumnae who made significant contributions to Virginia State University. In March 2021, the university announced the removal of the names and signs identifying the four buildings saying the buildings were named for individuals whose past beliefs were not consistent with the beliefs and legacy of Virginia State University.
* The building formerly known as Vawter Hall is now named Lula Johnson Hall for Lula Johnson who was the first Black woman to graduate from the university.
* The formerly named Eggleston Hall is now Lucretia Campbell Hall. Campbell was the first Black woman faculty member at the university.
* The new name for the formerly named Trinkle Hall is Johnnella Jackson Hall. Musician and civil rights activist, Johnella Frazer Jackson wrote the music for the Virginia State University’s Alma Mater.
* The formerly known Byrd Hall is now Otelia Howard Hall. A Petersburg native, Otelia Roberta Shields Howard served Virginia State University for more than two decades as a professor, advisor, and a charter member of two organizations on campus.
“As a historically Black university, VSU has always set the tone of celebrating those who came before us to create the legacy that we have today,” said Makola M. Abdullah, president of Virginia State University. “Unveiling names that celebrate and honor amazing Black women, especially those who have contributed to our VSU history in such an impactful way, shows that we proudly make space for and celebrate those up-and-coming trailblazers who have in the past, and will in the future, make Virginia State University their home.”