Naming Committee set to receive recommendations from Glassman


Corryn Brock

Vice President for University Advancement Ken Wetstein and Naming Committee member Steven Scher discuss Eastern’s naming policy Thursday morning.

Corryn Brock, Editor-in-Chief

Eastern’s Naming Committee is expected to receive name recommendations from University President David Glassman ahead of their meeting Thursday at 9 a.m. in room 1019 of Old Main.

Vice President of University Advancement Ken Wetstein, ex officio convener of the Naming Committee, will be informing the committee of the names they are being asked to review. Once the committee has fully reviewed the names, likely at a later meeting, they will return a list of recommendations to Glassman for him to review and potentially take to the Board of Trustees.

Wetstein will also share the university’s gift guidelines for naming university property with the committee.

New business and the next meeting date for the committee will be led by Suzie Park, the newly-elected chair of the committee.

This year, the members of the committee are Steven Scher (Faculty Senate), Angie Campbell (Staff Senate), Diane Burns (Council of Chairs), Rick Wilkinson (Council on Academic Affairs), Billie Frazier (Student Senate), Park (presidential appointee) and Mona Davenport (presidential appointee).

Davenport will not be attending the meeting in-person but will be calling in to join the committee.

During the meetings that led up to the naming committee’s recommendation to rename Douglas Hall last fall, a survey was sent out in which some individuals shared their recommendations for a new name. Recommendations for names included:

  • “Of the options I read, I much prefer renaming Douglas Hall Douglass Hall after Fredrick Douglass – a powerful black voice of the same time period as Lincoln. Another option might be to name it “Harriet Tubman Hall” after an extremely brave, under-appreciated figure of that same time period.”
  • “I propose Chief Justice ‘Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s name for the hall! A champion of equality and American Values! Lincoln-Ginsburg name will reflects EIU’s commitment to equality in all forms!”
  • “If they wish to keep a theme with Lincoln, perhaps naming it after Sherman or President Grant. Grant whom spent years attacking the influence of the KKK. Naming the Hall after Grant can show the no tolerance for racism within the school.”
  • “The Committee should explore other names associated with Illinois that better reflect diversity and inclusion. Looking to the 19th/early 20th century, Edward Coles, Hiram Rutherford and Ida B. Wells are a few.”
  • “I would like to propose the following 3 names to the Naming Committee as possible substitutions for Douglas. They are all Native Americans who have impacted America’s history for the better.
  1. Sequoyah who created a Cherokee syllabary that is used even to this day.
  2. Tecumseh (my personal choice) was a war hero and a uniter of his people. He was against U.S. expansionism and sought to unite the Native American tribes together. Although he died in the War of 1812, people still regard him as one of the best military leaders of the Shawnee. While it is too late to give his land back to his people, the least we can do is honor Tecumseh for fighting for the rights of Native Americans.
  3. Meskwaki, more prominently known as the Fox, as a way to honor one of the tribes who had originally been settled in Illinois.”

The committee is expected to follow a set of guidelines when recommending names. Those guidelines include:

  1. Personal, place or functional names may be recommended for facilities.
  2. The recommended name shall be logical in terms of the function of the facility.
  3. The recommended name shall have some significance to and meaning for constituencies served by the facility and/or significance to and meaning for the University as a whole.
  4. The recommended name shall be consistent with the guidelines provided in the Board of Trustees Regulations cited above.
  5. There shall be a relationship between the magnitude of the contribution of that person to the University and the facility, major building names should be reserved for those individuals who have made major contributions to the advancement and welfare of the institution.
  6. At least two years shall pass after the employee’s termination of regular employment, retirement or death before consideration is given to naming a facility for that individual.


Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].