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WKU President Won't Recommend Name Changes for Ogden College, Potter College, Vanmeter Hall

Western Kentucky University

The president of Western Kentucky University announced in a statement Wednesday that he will not recommend the Board of Regents take action to remove or change the names of any of the university's buildings or academic colleges.

Caboni's statement was in response to the WKU Naming And Symbols Task Force Report and Recommendations.

Among the high-profile buildings and colleges Caboni said he would not recommend for name changes are Ogden College, named in honor of Robert Ogden; Potter College, named for Pleasant J. Potter; and Vanmeter Hall, named for Charles Vanmeter.

“While we fervently disagree with their views on slavery, we also acknowledge that their perspectives were not unlike many of their time," said Caboni in his statement. "We should exercise caution when judging those in the past using a modern lens.” 

The WKU President said Ogden especially made a better life possible for individuals of all ethnicities and backgrounds.

Caboni said Potter College and Ogden College have developed international reputations for academic excellence, while Van Meter Hall is recognized as one of the premier performing arts venues in the region.

A dozen other recommendations will be pursued. One change to be put forth to the WKU Board of Regents will be the renaming of a WKU residence hall, Northeast Hall, to Munday Hall, in honor of Margaret Munday, the first African-American student to attend WKU, who graduated with a degree in music in 1960.

This story has been corrected to clarify that of the 12 recommendations accepted by WKU President Timothy Caboni, one one--the renaming of Northeast Hall to Munday Hall--involves the renaming of a campus facility.

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