Elon University has removed the name of a former university president associated with a lynching from a hall on campus after a petition demanding its removal gained more than 5,000 signatures, said an Elon News Network report.
The university has taken off William Harper’s name from the Harper Residence Hall.
The report provided a link to an article published in the News & Observer on Aug. 25, 1920, which lays out Harper’s role in the lynching of John Jeffress, a Black man who allegedly raped a 7-year-old girl. According to the article, Harper led a manhunt for Jeffress, who was later lynched before his case went to trial.
“If you aid in a murder but do not pull the trigger, that doesn’t make you any less of a murderer,” said the petition that called for the removal of Harper’s name.
“Ratliff was a mentor to generations of Black students, scores of whom remain connected with her as alumni,” the university said.