On Friday, the University renamed one of its residence halls and its Student Affairs building after two prominent members of the UNC community.
Residence Hall One, formerly named Aycock Residence Hall, was renamed after Hortense McClinton, the first Black faculty member at the University. The Student Affairs building was renamed after Henry Owl, the first American Indian to enroll at UNC.
The new names advance the first Carolina Next strategic initiative entitled “Build Our Community Together,” which seeks to advance diversity, equity and inclusion at UNC.
The ceremony comes after the UNC Board of Trustees voted to remove the names in 2020, as the names of Aycock and Carr were removed from their respective buildings. Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz made the renaming official in the ceremony, commemorating the legacy of McClinton and Owl in the Student Union Auditorium.
“This process really began about a year and a half ago, and we knew that we wanted to diversify the landscape of our campus,” Guskiewicz said.
Guskiewicz has worked directly with the Commission on History, Race and a Way Forward on renaming efforts. In April 2021, the commission recommended that the names of ten other campus buildings with namesakes connected to white supremacists be removed.
Guskiewicz said he hopes to develop a campus atmosphere that makes each student feel like they belong.
“We have an opportunity to consider some other naming opportunities here over the next several months, and I’m really pleased that our Board of Trustees has been part of this process because their voice is important, as is the voice of our faculty, staff, students and alumni,” Guskiewicz said.
The Henry Owl Building was formerly named after Julian Carr, a member of the Ku Klux Klan who fought for and heavily supported the Confederacy.