An email from President Glassman:
Students, colleagues and friends of the University,
As you may know, I shared the University Naming Committee’s formal recommendation to rename Douglas Hall with EIU’s Board of Trustees during the Board’s regular September 10 meeting.
As background, EIU’s Lincoln and Douglas Halls were named in 1951 to commemorate the significance of a series of seven debates—one of which was held in Charleston, Illinois—between incumbent U.S. Senator Stephen Douglas and Senate candidate Abraham Lincoln in 1858 about the expansion of slavery into new American territories. Over the past few decades, Stephen Douglas has become an increasingly controversial figure for deploying inflammatory and racist rhetoric as a means to realizing his political aspirations, compelling EIU to once again reinstate the University Naming Committee to reconsider the Douglas Hall name as a reflection of EIU’s commitment to diversity, inclusivity, and empowerment.
Should the board vote to approve the committee’s recommendation, the University’s next step should be to prepare a short list of potential new names for Douglas Hall. Submissions are open to the public. One suggestion per nominator will be considered, and can include names, locations, or functional aspects of the building itself. Suggestions also must include some significance to and meaning for constituents served by the building and/or the University as a whole. An optional comment section will provide users an opportunity to explain the rationale behind the suggestion submission.
Individuals or groups interested in recommending a potential name for Douglas Hall can submit their suggestions using this online form. Submissions will be accepted through October 29, 2021.
Soon after the deadline, I will review the nominations and provide the EIU University Naming Committee with a list of names to be considered for their recommendation.
Many, many thanks to the EIU Naming Committee for their time, work, and commitment to this timely institutional effort.
President, Eastern Illinois University