North Carolina’s William Peace University, founded in 1857, was named after a man who enslaved more than 50 people in 1860, according to census records. Now, the name may change.
On March 21, the university’s Board of Trustees voted to remove a statue of Peace on campus. William Peace University President Brian Ralph said the school will hold “listening sessions” with faculty, staff, students and alumni about whether to rename the school.
As for the removal of the statue, Ralph stated, “Like most colleges and universities in the south, there are certainly going to be ties that are problematic for intuitions. We took a courageous step forward.”
He continued, “We recognize that some people may disagree with that decision but we felt in the grand scheme of things, it was in the best interest of the university.”
Additionally, the university’s main building was built by enslaved people and once was a Confederate hospital.