Woodrow Wilson Hall, a marquee and historic building located on the West Long Branch campus, will be renamed the “Great Hall at Shadow Lawn,” as the university aims to ensure a diverse and welcoming community.
Wilson, a Democrat from Virginia, was president of the United States from 1913 to 1921, after serving as governor of New Jersey and President of Princeton University. His legacy, which includes leading the country during World War I and instituting the Federal Reserve Bank system, also includes racist policies, like racially re-segregated parts of the U.S. government.
In a letter to the Monmouth University community, the Board of Trustees noted that Wilson never set foot in the current building, and it said Wilson was a controversial politician. It also said the University has not yet met its goals for diversity and inclusion.
“Removing his name…eliminates a symbolic barrier to the important work of creating a truly welcoming and inclusive space in the Great Hall,” the university said in a release. “In support of that goal, we will accelerate our existing plans to reestablish the Great Hall as a true hub of activity for our students, outfitting the main areas with study tables and gathering spaces, opening a coffee bar on the main floor, and generally making it more inviting to students in an effort to build community in the heart of our campus.”
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SOURCE: NJ.com – Chris Ryan