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Trustees approve renaming residence hall in honor of DeNorval Unthank Jr

DeNorval Unthank Jr. was the first black graduate of the University's architecture school. He went on to design many public and private buildings, including McKenzie Hall on the Oregon campus. (Photo courtesy UO)

EUGENE, Ore. - A residence hall formerly named for a University of Oregon professor who had served as the Exalted Cyclops of the local Ku Klux Klan has a new name.

The Board of Trustees unanimously approved a proposal to name the building after DeNorval Unthank Jr.

Unthank was the first black graduate of the University's architecture school.

He went on to design many public and private buildings, including McKenzie Hall on the Oregon campus.

“This physical space is a reminder to us all that this extraordinary man overcame racial discrimination as a child in Portland as well as discrimination and overt acts of hatred at the University of Oregon,” President Michael Schill wrote in support of the name.

The dorm had temporarily been known as Cedar Hall after trustees voted to strip it of its former name.

The new name will be installed before fall term begins.

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