Macalester College pulls founder’s name from campus building

A private liberal arts college in Minnesota is removing its founder’s name from a campus building after students brought attention to his racist views in the 1800s.

The board of trustees for Macalester College in St. Paul announced Monday that Edward Duffield Neill’s name will be removed from Neill Hall, as well as from a room in another campus building. Neill Hall will be known by its former name, “Humanities Building,” until a committee chooses a new one.

Macalester President Brian Rosenberg tells the Star Tribune the students’ extensive research into Neill’s racist writings prompted college leaders to act. Macalester’s student newspaper, the Mac Weekly, published a special issue last month that highlighted Neill’s racist writings about American Indians and his opposition to coeducation.

Neill was a Presbyterian minister who was also Minnesota’s first Superintendent of Public Instruction and the University of Minnesota’s first chancellor.

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