President Schill delivers nomination to replace Cedar Hall to Board of Trustees

University of Oregon President Michael Schill has nominated DeNorval Unthank Jr. as the namesake for Cedar Hall, formerly Dunn Hall, according to university representatives.

Schill delivered his nomination to the Board of Trustees in a memo on Tuesday.

“Based on historical records and information gathered on these four inspiring individuals, a meeting with the committee about the finalists, and subsequent conversations with various individuals and groups, I have decided to formally recommend that we permanently name this wing Unthank Hall, after DeNorval Unthank, Jr.,” he wrote.

The final candidates were delivered to Schill earlier this month. According to Schill’s criteria, 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.

Unthank Jr. graduated from the School of Architecture and Allied Arts in 1951 as the first Black graduate from the school. He worked as an architecht in the Eugene-Springfield area on numerous public and private buildings.

“His works include our own McKenzie Hall, meaning that students can see and experience a tangible example of Unthank’s success and lasting legacy,” Schill wrote. “This physical space is a reminder to us all that this extraordinary man overcame racial discrimination as a child in Portland as well as discrimination and overt acts of hatred at the University of Oregon.”

Besides his professional success, Unthank Jr. met the criteria of promoting justice and equality. He worked with groups in Portland focusing on low-income housing and assisted living.

Dunn’s name was on a wing of the Hamilton residence hall, it has been temporarily named Cedar Hall since last September.


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Max Thornberry

Max Thornberry

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