Community meeting set April 2 to discuss on-campus building name changes

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Arianna Schmidt, News Contributor

President Ed Ray wants new building names to reflect qualities of buildings, OSU history.

On Monday, April 2 from 5:30-7:30 p.m., President Ed Ray will host a community meeting to rename the three on-campus buildings in question: Benton Hall, Benton Annex and Avery Lodge. Held in the Memorial Union Horizon Room, the three name-proposal committees made up of students, staff and faculty invite the public to come and weigh-in their opinion for the change of names to these historic buildings. A comment tool to submit naming recommendations is included on the university’s building name website.

“The names of buildings and places are very important. They help celebrate and acknowledge the university’s past and describe OSU priorities, such as student success, faculty excellence and research innovation,” said Steve Clark, chair of the OSU Architectural Naming Committee and vice president for University Relations and Marketing.

President Ray will be announcing the new names in late April after consideration by the university Architectural Naming Committee, which makes recommendations to Ray regarding OSU place and building names.

Ray said he seeks a name for Benton Hall that recognizes the numerous contributions of Benton County residents in the 1860s and 70s that supported the founding of OSU.

For Benton Annex, Ray wants the building appropriately identified as home to the Women’s Center, which is a valued student resource center.

Lastly, Avery Lodge, which is home to many on-campus resources such as family and childcare centers and the University Housing and Dining Services administrative offices, is proposing to be renamed to something more reflective of the Willamette Valley geography and OSU’s 150-year history as Oregon’s land grant university.

“Names recognize the positive contributions of people and communities associated with Oregon State,” Clark said. “Building and place names portray OSU’s values and mission, including efforts to foster inclusivity, equity and success for all.

The Architectural Naming Committee and university colleagues would like to widen knowledge about the history of these three buildings throughout the OSU community, as well as the history behind previously reviewed Arnold Dining Center and Gill Coliseum.

In addition, the committee plans to create a website and mobile app with information regarding history displays for all university buildings, as well as gathering and documenting the history of all campus buildings and namesakes.