Cedar Hall Naming

On September 8, 2016, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to accept the recommendation of President Schill that the name of Frederick Dunn be removed from a wing of a residence hall named in his memory. This recommendation was made following an evaluative process that found historical evidence that Dunn was a former “Grand Cyclops” of the local branch of the Ku Klux Klan, an organization notorious for terrorizing and lynching black people.

The wing of the Hamilton Complex was temporarily named Cedar Hall for the 2016-17 academic year so that President Schill and the campus community could undertake a thorough process by which to recommend a permanent name to the Board of Trustees.When President Schill has stated that the residence hall ill be renamed “for a man or woman whose life exemplifies the characteristics of racial diversity and inclusion that Dunn despised.”

President's Recommendation

On May 23, 2017 President Schill sent a memo to the Board of Trustees recommending that Cedar Hall be renamed for Unthank Hall, after DeNorval Unthank, Jr. The board will consider the recommendation during their June 1 and 2 board meeting.

Cedar Hall Renaming Process

President Schill has established a committee of students, faculty, staff, and local community members to recommend three individuals after whom Cedar Hall might be permanently named. President Schill charged the committee to solicit nominations from the broader University of Oregon community and vet those nominations based on a set of criteria.

To establish the below criteria, the president solicited input from the Black Student Task Force and considered criteria previously given to the committee charged in 2016 with analyzing whether to remove Dunn’s name from the building.

Students, faculty, staff, alumni, community members and any other interested persons are invited to review the criteria below and suggest an individual for whom Cedar Hall might be named.

Suggestions were accepted through April 15. (Input session now closed.)


General Criteria from UO Policy

Under UO Policy IV.07.02, when a building is named posthumously in recognition of an individual or group, that recognition must be based on “unusually meritorious service to the University or to society at large.” “Unusually meritorious service is likely to describe remarkable activities, circumstances, and/or experiences of individuals that directly served to advance or provide inspiration in advancing the values and mission of the University.”

The policy also states, “Normally, a period of at least one year should have elapsed between the individual’s death and the proposal for the naming.”  Nevertheless, because this statement about waiting for one year is modified by the word “normally,” exceptions can be granted. 

Specific Criteria

In addition to the general criteria set forth above, President Schill asks the committee to use the following criteria to guide its deliberations:

  • An individual who has made significant contributions in service, support or honor to the University of Oregon or to the State of Oregon;
  • An individual who has an extraordinary record of leadership and commitment to advancing justice and equity for Black people in Oregon;
  • An individual who has demonstrated evidence of overcoming oppression and discrimination;
  • An individual who strongly advocated for the pursuit of knowledge and advancement of higher education;
  • An individual whose own work has led to an inclusive and equitable University of Oregon campus;  
  • An individual whose work has led to achievements of extraordinary and lasting distinction; and,
  • An individual who has helped Black students and/or community members achieve success in higher education and the pursuit of careers.

General Timeline

April 15 - Deadline to submit nominations
Early May - Committee provides three suggested names to President Schill
Late May - President announces his recommendation to the Board of Trustees
June 1-2 - Board of Trustees considers President Schill’s recommendation

Committee Contact / Questions

Information for the committee or any questions about the process may be directed to the committee staff lead, Angela Wilhelms, at feedback@uoregon.edu or 541-346-5561.