Final four candidates for Dunn Hall renaming announced

The committee to rename Cedar Hall — formerly Dunn Hall — delivered the final list of names to University of Oregon President Michael Schill on Wednesday.

The names were announced in the university’s official blog on Wednesday afternoon. Schill said candidates should be individuals who made significant contributions to UO or the state of Oregon; someone who had fought for justice and equality of Black people in Oregon along with a number of other requirements.

  • One of the four candidates is a woman, Nellie Franklin, who was the first African-American woman to graduate from UO. She graduated with a degree in music in 1932.
  • Derrick Bell came to UO from Harvard Law. He was president of the UO School of Law from 1980-1985. The law school has a lecture series named after the former president.
  • DeNorval Unthank Jr. was the first African-American to graduate from the School of Architecture and Allied Arts. After graduating, Unthank Jr. worked on several projects in Eugene-Springfield, notably McKenzie Hall, the Lane County Courthouse and Kennedy Junior High School.
  • DeNorval Unthank Sr. is the fourth candidate. While he was not associated with UO specifically, he was a prominent figure in the civil rights movement in Portland. At one time, he was the only Black doctor in the Portland area.

Frederic Dunn was a Grand Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan, prompting the charge from Schill that the hall’s namesake be someone who fought for Black equality in a state stained by racism.

Schill is expected to bring a final name to the Board of Trustees in June.

**A previous version of this story said that President Schill narrowed the list to four candidates. The committee selected the final four candidates. The story has been updated to reflect the change.

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Max Thornberry

Max Thornberry

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