Paul L. Caron

Monday, September 26, 2022

Richmond And UC-Hastings Law Schools Remove Names With Racist Pasts

ABC 8 News, University of Richmond Renames Law School:

Richmond (2018)The name of a businessman who owned slaves will no longer be on the University of Richmond Law School, according to an announcement.

The name T.C. Williams will be removed from the University of Richmond Law School, adhering to the university’s naming principals which prohibit the school from naming buildings, programs, professorships or other entities for a person who directly engaged in trafficking and/or enslavement of others of openly advocated for the enslavement of people.

University of Richmond president Kevin Hallock and the Board of Trustees announced the name change to members of the UR community via email just after 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 23. ...

The email explained the university’s board voted unanimously to change the official name of the law school from the T.C. Williams School of Law, which it has held since 1920, to the University of Richmond School of Law.

The nine-paragraph message detailed T.C. Williams’ connection to the university as a student at Richmond College from 1846 to 1849, a trustee from 1881 until his death in 1889 and a donor who helped establish the School of Law. William’s descendants also served on the board.

The email included research garnered from legal documents that showed Williams, who owned a tobacco businesses in the area, enslaved dozens of people to work for the business and serve him in his personal life.

Chancellor & Dean David Faigman, Statement on Governor Signing AB 1936:

UC-Hastings (San Francisco) (2022)I write to you today with further updates on our name change journey since my last message on July 27th. In August, Assembly Bill 1936 successfully passed in both the California Senate and Assembly with resounding support. In fact, there were zero “no” votes in either house. This bill allows us to legally change the name of the College and reaffirm our commitment to restorative justice initiatives with the California tribes most impacted by the acts of our founder and first dean, Serranus Hastings.

Today, Governor Newsom signed the bill, with an effective date of January 1, 2023. ...

I have launched a Name Change Committee of key campus leaders to work with students, staff, and faculty to assess and recommend decisions that will operationally transition us from UC Hastings College of the Law to UC College of the Law, San Francisco. This work will range from detailed changes to our website, email addresses, building signs, journal names, student organization names, and much more. Additionally, we will prepare a suite of new logo designs and a comprehensive marketing plan to get the word out to alumni, employers, judges, law schools, prospective students, US News voters, etc.

Although the effective date of the new name is January 1, I have not yet made a decision as to the exact date when we will “go live” on the new name. I want to initially confirm that we have ample time and resources for us to make all of the above changes and will communicate accordingly throughout this semester. That said, the switch will likely happen sometime in 2023. Suffice it to say, a campus celebration will be in order to mark that moment. Until then, we remain UC Hastings.

Be on the lookout for more updates from me, as well as communications from my colleagues from the Name Change Committee about various name-change projects. You can also see the most updated information the name change, including FAQs, on our website.

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