DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Walk on any college campus and you may not think twice.
You may not even know who buildings are named after.
North Carolina Central University students Derrick Stanfield and Manuhe Abebe want the university to think twice about a residence hall on campus.
“One of the big red flags for me as student body president and a member of the board of trustees at Central (NCCU) for this year is that he didn’t appoint a single African American member to the board of trustees,” Stanfield said.
‘He’ is referring to Angus McLean.
McLean served as North Carolina’s governor from 1925 to 1929.
McLean Residence Hall on NCCU’s campus is named after him.
According to NCCU’s website, it was named in his honor, “in recognition of his support and contributions to North Carolina College for Negroes”, which is the school’s former name.
However, the North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program writes, “much of his drive to improve black institutions in the state was driven by his segregationist beliefs.”
“Our goals were just to take a step back and let people know that this building is named after someone who is documented segregationist,” Stanfield said.
Students started a petition recently with hopes of getting McLean’s name removed.
“That’s why we started this petition to raise awareness,” Abebe said. “To make sure that the students have a voice and making sure that their opinions are heard.”
This comes almost three years after the board of trustees voted to change the name of the administration building on NCCU’s campus.
The Highway Historical Marker Program also writes that Hoey was a segregationist, too.
“McLean Residence Hall was one of those buildings that did raise a flag, but at the time didn’t raise enough support from the student body,” Stanfield said.
Both Stanfield and Abebe said the focus right now is just getting the word out about their efforts, but would eventually like change.
CBS 17 reached out for comment over the weekend. The university sent a response Monday night:
The North Carolina Central University (NCCU) Student Government Association (SGA) has approached the university’s administration with the request to consider renaming the McLean Residence Hall, named after former North Carolina Governor Angus Wilton McLean.
A meeting has been held with Chancellor Johnson O. Akinleye and Dr. Angela A. Coleman, vice chancellor for Student Affairs, and information has been collected by NCCU Archives and the Department of History.
A formal process has begun that includes a series of key steps before the recommendation can be considered by the NCCU Board of Trustees. Similar to the renaming of the James E. Shepard Administration Building in 2019, the procedure includes the engagement of stakeholders, forums, surveys and additional research, among other protocols.
NCCU remains committed to continually reviewing and evaluating opportunities for change that reflect progress and growth, while also representing the growing diversity of the university and larger communities.”