Middlebury College is being sued for changing the name of its chapel.
The name was changed from Mead Memorial Chapel to Middlebury Chapel, WCAX News reported. The original name honored Vermont governor John Mead, who served from 1910 to 1912 and paid to construct the meeting house and place of worship at his alma mater in 1914. But in September 2021, Middlebury leadership stripped the chapel of its sign “because of Governor John A. Mead’s role in advancing eugenics policy in the early 20th century.”
Another former Vermont governor, Jim Douglas, filed the suit on behalf of the Mead family.
“It essentially called Governor Mead a racist, and that’s simply false,” Douglas told WCAX. “John Mead was a tremendous public servant. He was a loyal alumnus. He was very generous to the college. He was quite progressive for his era. He supported women’s suffrage, tougher child labor laws, campaign finance disclosure, the direct primary, clean energy through the greater use of hydro-electric power. He did a tremendous amount of work for the people of Vermont, and to have his reputation sullied because of a couple of remarks that he made in 1912 is totally unfair.”