Sunday, June 14, 2020
Boston Globe, UNH’s Franklin Pierce School of Law Considering Name Change:
A New Hampshire law school bearing the name of the state’s only president, Franklin Pierce, is thinking about removing him from its title as part of the national conversation about systemic racism because he opposed taking steps to stop slavery.
Pierce, the country’s 14th president, served from 1853 to 1857. He was an accomplished attorney and brigadier general in the U.S. Army. He never owned slaves and expressed moral opposition to slavery, but he was concerned with keeping the nation unified.
“I support these calls to reconsider our relationship to an historical figure who was a part of our country’s painful history,” Megan Carpenter, dean of the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law, said in a statement Friday. “Our school has an incredible opportunity to become a meaningful part of the national dialogue. I’m personally inspired by the voices within our school community who are expressing their feelings on this issue.” ...
A decision on whether to remove Pierce’s name from the Concord school will be made no later than Aug. 1, Carpenter said. ...
The law school was originally known as the Franklin Pierce Law Center. The state approved a merger between the school and UNH in 2010. The school then was called the UNH School of Law; it was changed to its current name last year. At the time, the school said it made the change to reflect the reputation of the law center with respect to the study of intellectual property law.