Four buildings on the Virginia State University campus formerly named for sympathizers of the confederacy and discrimination against African Americans have been officially renamed to honor Black women with historic ties as graduates and educators at the institution.
“As an Historically Black University, VSU has always set the tone of celebrating those who came before us to create the legacy that we have today,” said VSU President, Makola M. Abdullah. “ Unveiling names that celebrate and honor amazing black women, especially those who have contributed to our VSU history in such an impactful way, shows that we proudly make space for and celebrate those up-and-coming trailblazers who have in the past, and will in the future, make Virginia State University their home.”
The renamed facilities were revealed in a ceremony last week on the campus. From a release:
The building formerly known as Vawter Hall is now named Lula Johnson Hall for Virginia State Alumna, Lula Johnson who was the first Black woman to graduate from the University. The formerly named Eggleston Hall is now Lucretia Campbell Hall. Alumna, Lucretia Campbell was the first Black woman faculty at the University. The new name for the formerly named Trinkle Hall is Johnnella Jackson Hall. Musician and Civil rights Activist, Johnella Frazer Jackson wrote the music for the Virginia State University’s Alma Mater. The formerly known Byrd Hall is now Otelia Howard Hall. Petersburg native, Otelia Roberta Shields Howard served Virginia State University for more than two decades as a professor, advisor, and a charter member of two organizations on campus.