Board of regents stands by its journalism school's name

This semester, the University of Georgia decided not to rename its journalism school amid pressure from campus stakeholders.

Over 9,000 people had signed a petition in favor of removing and replacing the current name.

In a year that has seen several instances of renamed buildings, one school is resisting that trend. 

The Board of Regents at the University of Georgia voted unanimously Nov. 22, The New York Times reported, not to rename the Grady School of Journalism after Charlayne Hunter-Gault, one of the first African American students to attend the university 60 years ago. 

Henry W. Grady was an Atlanta-based editor in the 19th century. Hunter-Gault was a civil rights activist, journalist, and former foreign correspondent for National Public Radio, CNN, and the Public Broadcasting Service in the United States. 

Emanuel Hernaiz, a sophomore at UGA, told Campus Reform that there was value in keeping some buildings’ original names. 

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”Sometimes it is good to have these names as a lesson from where we came from before and how we have progressed,” Hernaiz said.

In its coverage of the vote, The New York Times quotes Kimberly Davis, an alumna of UGA and organizer of the Rename Grady Movement, as saying that the decision “sends a message that we’re not welcomed in that college, and we’re not welcomed on campuses that continue to highlight and honor enslavers and white supremacists and segregationists.” 

[RELATED: Geraldo Rivera quits Yale over Calhoun College name change]

A spokesperson for UGA provided Campus Reform with a university statement. 

”The power to approve or modify the name of any institution, college or facility throughout the University System of Georgia resides entirely with the USG Board of Regents,” the statement reads. 

A “Rename Grady” petition launched two years ago promoting Hunter-Gault as an alternative namesake. It has garnered 9,000 signatures.

The petition’s organizer, Kathryn Schilliro, did not respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment.