EDITORIAL: The names students deserve

Charles Hall

EDITORIAL: The names students deserve

Staff Editorial

Continuing our week of recommendations for the renaming of Douglas Hall, we at The Daily Eastern News believe that Captain Charles Hall should be also be considered by the Naming Committee 

Hall attended Eastern in the late 1930s and early 40s, according to the University Archives, before being called to active duty in late November of 1941 after withdrawing from Eastern in the spring in order to enlist in the Army 

Among his many accomplishments were being the first Black pilot to shoot down an enemy in WWII, being a flight officer for the Tuskegee Airmen and being the first Black person to be awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, an award “for extraordinary aerial achievement,” and “is awarded to recipients for heroism while participating in an aerial flight,” according to the award’s website. 

Hall also stood out on campus for his athletic feats, being part of two winning football teams and earning a letter in track, fitting for renaming a building that is largely inhabited by student-athletes.  

While the News notes what may be a point of humor for those in opposition of changing the name, Charles Hall Hall is still a more fitting name for a building on Eastern’s campus, given the fact that Hall attended Eastern and served his country, contrary to Stephen Douglas, who merely had a part to play in Abraham Lincoln’s legacy. 

The EIU Panthers website quotes an excerpt from a letter that Hall wrote to Charleston residents as follows: 

Up in the blue it doesn’t make any difference where you come from, what color you are, etc.  I can appreciate the land, sea, engineers, cooks, nurses, Red Cross, tanks, defense workers, people buying bonds and a thousand and one other things.  I look at them and say this is worth fighting for.” 

If Charles Hall Hall were to have a plaque in its lobby, there’s no better place to start than a statement on courage and fellowship in times of adversity and conflict.