Wake Forest University Renames Building In Bid For A More Inclusive History

Wake Forest University Renames Building In Bid For A More Inclusive History

9:43pm May 09, 2021
Wingate Hall on the campus of Wake Forest University will be renamed to May 7, 1860 Hall. PAUL GARBER/WFDD

Wake Forest University is renaming one of its campus buildings as part of a review of its history as the university seeks a more inclusive view of its past.

Wake Forest President Nathan Hatch announced last week that Wingate Hall will no longer carry the name of the university’s fourth president, Washington Manly Wingate, who served terms both before and after the Civil War.

University officials determined that Wingate promoted the institution of slavery.

The building will now be called “May 7, 1860 Hall.” It was on that date that Wake Forest sold 16 slaves that a benefactor had bequeathed to the college. Hatch says it’s time to recognize the work done to build the university by those who labored against their will.

A memorial is also being planned to affirm the humanity and dignity of those previously not recognized for their role in the university’s antebellum history.

The building is adjacent to the university’s iconic Wait Chapel, named for its first president. Hatch says that name won’t change.

Other universities in the state — including Western Carolina and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill  — have made similar moves as colleges rethink the ties that some of their most prominent leaders had to white supremacy.

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