Baylor University Renaming Campus Space and Moving Statue of Former School President Who Owned Slaves
“Our goal at the outset of this process was not to erase Baylor’s history, but rather to tell the University’s complete story by taking an additive approach as we shine light on the past”
Every time this happens, I want to know why Yale hasn’t changed its name. Elihu Yale was directly involved in the slave trade.
The Texas Tribune reports:
Baylor will rename campus area and relocate statue of slave-owning former university president
The Baylor University Board of Regents voted Friday to rename a campus quadrangle and relocate a statue of a slave-owning former university president more than a year after a university-commissioned report recommended the changes.
The vote means the school’s Burleson Quadrangle will be changed to The Quadrangle. The school will also relocate a statue of former Baylor President Rufus Burleson from that space and place it in between two academic buildings on campus.
“Our goal at the outset of this process was not to erase Baylor’s history, but rather to tell the University’s complete story by taking an additive approach as we shine light on the past,” board President Mark Rountree said in a statement. “Some of the facts uncovered about the University’s history have indeed been painful, but it is important that we move forward together as the Baylor Family through an intentional process of reckoning, repentance, reconciliation and redemption.”
Burleson not only owned slaves and served in the Confederate army as a chaplain, but he promoted an idea known as the “Lost Cause” theory that said slavery was justified and moral and honored antebellum whiteness.
The board approved a four-step plan to complete a majority of the recommended changes within the next three years. The university will hire a design firm this summer to create a monument for unknown enslaved people who built the original campus and redesign the area around the statue of Robert Emmett Bledsoe Baylor known more commonly as the R.E.B. Baylor statue on Founders Mall.
Baylor, the school’s namesake, was an associate justice on the Texas Supreme Court, a law professor and a donor to the school who was instrumental in its founding.
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