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July 12, 2005

Vanderbilt foiled in history revision attempt

From Tampa Bay Online:

Vanderbilt University is giving up its long-running court fight to have the name "Confederate Memorial Hall" removed from the stone front of a campus dormitory.

Chancellor Gordon Gee dropped the word "Confederate" from the dorm's name in 2002, citing an effort to create a more welcoming environment. But the United Daughters of the Confederacy, which helped finance the building, sued when the school wanted to physically remove the name from the main entrance.

The case reached the Tennessee Court of Appeals, which in May ordered Vanderbilt to either leave the chiseled name alone or reimburse the UDC $50,000.

University spokesman Mike Schoenfeld said Monday that Vanderbilt decided to stop pressing the issue and let the deadline to appeal the ruling pass last week.

Confederate Memorial Hall was built by the former George Peabody College for Teachers in 1935, While there is no signed copy of a 1933 contract between the United Daughters of the Confederacy and Peabody, the agreement is clear in the UDC's books of meeting minutes from that era. The dormitory was intended to house descendants of Confederate veterans. In 1978, Peabody leased the building to Vanderbilt, which needed more student housing, and it became part of Vanderbilt. In 1988 the building was renovated.

It seems to me if you were trying to instill the value of not judging all of a group by the acts of some, that demonizing anything having to with the Confederacy is a very poor example of that principle. But then, we're talking Liberals here, aren't we.

Posted by Danny Carlton at July 12, 2005 07:48 AM

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