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Clemson Won't Rename Building That Honors Racist

February 12, 2015
 

Clemson University won't rename Tillman Hall (right), named for Benjamin Ryan Tillman, a white supremacist politician who was among the institution's founders. Faculty and student groups have asked the board to rename the building, saying that Tillman stands out for his brutality and racism, and noting that he regularly boasted of participating in the killings of black people. Some alumni, however, have rallied to save the name. The board sided with that latter group.

David Wilkins, the board chair, released a statement to The Greenville News in which he said "while we respect the many differing opinions of our graduates, our students, our faculty and staff regarding this matter, the Clemson University Board does not intend to change the names of buildings on campus, including Tillman Hall." He added: "Every great institution is built by imperfect craftsmen. Stone by stone they add to the foundation so that over many, many generations, we get a variety of stones. And so it is with Clemson. Some of our historical stones are rough and even unpleasant to look at. But they are ours and denying them as part of our history does not make them any less so."

 

 
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