When Building Names Honor Racists, Universities Must Tread Carefully

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tags: racism, UNC, Saunders Hall, William L. Saunders



Early this month, about 15 students, most of them black, gathered in front of Saunders Hall, seemingly just one of many scenic brick buildings on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Then the students hung nooses around their necks and held up signs that read: "This is what Saunders would do to me."

Born in 1835, William L. Saunders graduated from the university in 1854 and was a North Carolina historian and a member of the university’s Board of Trustees. He was also a Confederate colonel during the Civil War and a chief organizer of the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina.




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