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Backlash as University of Richmond leaves names in place

Posted at 11:49 AM, Mar 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-24 11:49:29-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Some students and staff are unhappy with the University of Richmond's decision to leave the names of former school leaders on two campus buildings because of their connections to slavery and segregation.

The private university last month opted against removing the names of former rector Douglas Southall Freeman and former president Robert Ryland.

Freeman is best known as a historian who wrote an exhaustive biography of Robert E. Lee that won a Pulitzer Prize but is now considered by some to be fawning.

Ryland became the school’s first president in 1840; he owned more than two dozen enslaved people.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that backlash to the decision to keep the men’s names has come from student groups and the faculty Senate.