COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJZ) — What’s in a name? In the case of the University of Maryland Byrd Stadium, some see segregation. Now University President Wallace Loh is recommending the name be changed.
Pat Warren has more on the debate.
Maryland is part of a national debate on race and symbolism.
Proud home of the Maryland Terrapins, Byrd Stadium is the university’s front porch, the most visible site on campus. It’s named for Harry Clifton Curley Byrd, who is credited with building the foundation of the present day campus. But present day values may take his name off the building, for it was Byrd who kept the university segregated until forced by court order to allow black students to enroll.
Senior Colin Byrd fought for the name change.
“I’m just glad we’ve come to a point where we’re going to say ‘bye-bye’ to Curley,” he said.
After months of study, University President Wallace Loh recommends changing the name to Maryland Stadium.
Meanwhile, a Baltimore commission is considering whether Civil War statues on city property should be moved or removed or put in better context.
Loyola African American Studies Professor Karsonya Whitehead says some changes don’t mean much by themselves.
“I don’t think so. I don’t think that changes the hearts and minds of people. And I think we get very confusing when we start focusing on renaming buildings and removing statues rather than getting to the root of what the problem is,” said Whitehead.
She supports President Loh’s approach, who is introducing “…campus-wide Maryland Dialogues on Diversity and Community. It is intended to move us beyond symbolic changes to institutional improvements,” he writes.
“Changing names of buildings without explaining why, without changing policy, does not change anything,” said Whitehead.
The University Board of Regents will make the final determination on Byrd Stadium. That decision is expected Friday.
Governor Hogan was asked about the name change. He said it’s a matter for the Board of Regents to decide.