What’s in a


In 2015, a group of Black students submitted a list of demands to the University of Oregon president. First on the list: change the names of all of the Ku Klux Klan-related buildings on campus.

DeNorval Unthank, Jr. (1929–2000) designed a number of buildings around town, including the Lane County Courthouse and the UO’s McKenzie Hall.

Frederick Dunn

Frederick Dunn (1872–1937) was a longtime classics professor. In the 1920s, Dunn served as the Exalted Cyclops (leader) of the Eugene Klan—one of the most active klaverns in the state.

Image credit: Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries

After a lengthy process, UO renamed the student dormitory, Dunn Hall, to Unthank Hall. DeNorval Unthank, Jr. was UO’s first Black male architecture graduate and a lifelong advocate for Oregon’s Black community.

Unthank Hall

Unthank Hall is the first UO building named for an African American.

Image credit: Museum of Natural and Cultural History

The Black Student Task Force called for Deady Hall to be renamed in 2015, but UO president Michael Schill decided against it. In June 2020, amid the Black Lives Matter protests, UO trustee Andrew Colas called on the Board of Trustees to once again vote to rename Deady Hall. This time, the board unanimously voted to do so.

The UO’s oldest building will temporarily be called University Hall until the renaming process is decided.

Image credit: Warren Heywood Williams

“There are some millions of Africans owned as property in the United States, and … they are just as much property as horses[,] cattle or land…”

– Matthew Deady, 1857

“I cannot accept a person that would see me and believe that I am as good as a ‘horse, cattle, or piece of land.’ That wrecks me inside.”

– Andrew Colas, speaking to the UO Board of Trustees, June 2020

Matthew Deady (1824-1893) was a lifelong racist whose support for the university in its early years was critical to its survival and growth.

Image credit: Oregon Historical Society Research Library, OrHi 47403, 320