Eight alumni leaders of the Campaign for Carolina have come out in support of Silent Sam’s relocation from McCorkle Place, according to reports from The News & Observer.
The leaders, all co-chairs of the University’s recently launched $4.25 billion-dollar fundraising campaign, called the controversy surrounding the monument an “increasingly dangerous situation impacting our students and faculty and threatening to tarnish the reputation of our nation’s first public university, as well as the State of North Carolina,” the N&O reported. All eight co-chairs are in agreement that the statue “should not return to its former location.”
The letter adds to growing support for the monument’s relocation from its traditional position at the front of UNC’s campus, in front of Graham Memorial Hall. In a conference call with reporters last Friday, Chancellor Carol Folt said that the statue has “a place in our history and on our campus… but not at the front door of a safe, welcoming, proudly public research university."
Prior to the statement from the chancellor, over 320 faculty members signed a letter demanding action from UNC administration regarding the debate. Restaurants and businesses on Franklin Street have also expressed their discontent with slow business as a result of the protests at McCorkle Place.
The letter from the alumni leaders did not mention whether the controversy surrounding Silent Sam had had any impact on the University’s fundraising efforts, the N&O reported. To date, the campaign has raised $2.12 billion, about 50 percent of its goal.
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