Western Carolina University is removing the name of a segregationist from an auditorium on campus in an effort to honor “diversity, equality and social justice.”
Clyde R. Hoey, whom the building was named after, is a former governor of North Carolina who vigorously opposed civil rights legislation and favored racial segregation. He also opposed statehood for Hawaii because the territory contained “only a small percentage of white people.”
The action to change the auditorium’s name is “long overdue,” said the university’s chancellor, Kelli R. Brown, in a statement. “I am proud that WCU is taking this proactive step today as we model our core values of diversity and inclusion,” she said. “The values and views of the auditorium’s now former namesake do not correspond with the values and views of Western Carolina University.”
Bryant Kinney, chair of the university’s board, said that he and his fellow trustees thought it was important for the university to take this action.
“We are not an institution that honors a past that supported inequality,” said Kinney. “We are an institution that honors diversity, equality and social justice.”