The UNC Board of Trustees voted to remove the names of Charles Aycock, Josephus Daniels, Julian Carr and Thomas Ruffin Sr. from UNC campus buildings because of their ties to white supremacy in North Carolina.
The Board voted 11-2 to remove each name during its meeting on Wednesday, with Trustees John Preyer and Allie Ray McCullen voting against.
Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz presented the Board with his recommendation to remove the names Wednesday after forming a committee to review the Commission on History, Race and A Way Forward's unanimous resolution recommending the removal of these four names from campus buildings earlier this month.
“If we kept these names on our buildings, I believe we jeopardize our integrity and impede our mission of teaching, research and service to all North Carolinians,” he said. “Continuing to honor these men is antithetical toward our work in building a diverse and inclusive community.”
Here's what the buildings will be called in the interim:
- The building formerly named the Josephus Daniels Student Stores will be called the Student Stores Building.
- The name for the Carr Building will be the Student Affairs Building. Wednesday, new signage was put up reflecting the name change.
- Aycock Residence Hall will be called Residence Hall One.
- Ruffin Residence Hall will keep its name, after Thomas Ruffin Jr., but will remove its ties to Thomas Ruffin Sr. The Board voted to keep the name of the junior Ruffin after several Trustees said they felt not enough evidence was provided to justify the removal of Ruffin Jr.’s name.
The Commission on History, Race and A Way Forward resolved that Ruffin Residence Hall should remove ties to both Thomas Ruffin Sr., one of the largest slaveholders in North Carolina, and Thomas Ruffin Jr., a Confederate officer, lawyer and legislator. However, the resolution said Ruffin Jr. "left no distinctive mark on jurisprudence."
Aycock and Daniels were prominent instigators of the 1898 Wilmington Massacre, a white supremacy campaign led by the Democratic Party, where a white mob killed at least 60 Black individuals, destroyed Black businesses and led a violent overthrow of the local government, a Fusion of Black and white politicians.