Onward and upward!
Virginia State University (VSU) has renamed four buildings on campus in honor of Black women, AP News reports.
Five months ago, the Historically Black University took down the original names of four buildings named for white men with ties to the Jim Crow era and/or the confederacy. After a committee voted on replacement names, the school has now announced that the buildings will be renamed in honor of Black women.
“It wasn’t hard, and we didn’t have to look far to find women who embody our mission today,” Tonya Hall, VSU’s VP of external relations, said.
Once named for a Confederate captain, Vawter Hall is now being renamed in honor of Lula Johnson, the first woman to graduate from a Virginia public college, now known as VSU, in the 1890s.
An on-campus dormitory, Byrd Hall, named originally for former governor and U.S. Sen. Harry F. Byrd Sr, a known segregationist, is now named for Otelia Howard Hall, a respected English school teacher in the 1920s and ‘30s.
Once named after Elbert Lee Trinkle, a former governor who signed a law prohibiting interracial marriage, Trinkle Hall is now named in honor of Johnella Jackson, a music writer for VSU’s alma mater in the 1920s.
Once named for Joseph Eggleston, an early 20th-century board of visitors member, Eggleston Hall is now named for Lucretia Campbell, VSU’s first Black female faculty member.
The building renamings will mark a new era for VSU and preserve a recent lasting history for the historic HBCU.
Photo Courtesy of Virginia State University