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UO trustee calls for renaming Deady Hall

The building is named for Matthew Deady, a man who once compared blacks to cattle and horses.

Posted: Jun 4, 2020 6:52 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- A University of Oregon trustee called for emergency action to rename the University's first building.

Deady Hall was built in the 1870s and named after Matthew Deady, Oregon's first federal judge and a staunch believer in slavery.

The name has been a source of friction for years. In 2017, President Michael Schill recommended against changing the name.

But at today's board of trustee's meeting, Andrew Colas said he was "mad at himself" for accepting that decision. He pointed out that, according to the university's own research, Deady once wrote that blacks were "just as much property as cattle, horses and land."

Chuck Lillis, chair of the board, said that Oregon's public meeting law did not allow a vote today because adequate notice had not been given to the public. However, Lillis said Colas' comments "meant a lot to a lot of people," and that the board would consider taking up his request.

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