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Frequently Asked Questions


Is the mission of the task force to rename campus buildings? 

No. The mission of the task force as directed by President Caboni is to:

  1. Solicit input and perspectives from a broad range of constituencies and stakeholders that will guide us as we examine the origins of the names and symbols used on campus.
  2. Audit the names used on buildings and other campus symbols to determine which may be connected to exclusion, segregation, racism or slavery.
  3. Create a set of guiding principles and a range of options for how we should address any issues raised.
  4. Provide to university leadership a set of recommendations.

Are you trying to erase history? 

No. The mission of the task force is not to “erase history.” The task force is adding to the history of WKU by considering the stories and the voices of persons previously omitted and/or undervalued in the university’s historical narrative

Are you only looking at building names? 

No. In addition to names of buildings, the task force is reviewing the names of all elements of the WKU landscape as well as names connected with colleges, programs, and other entities associated with the university.

What is the best way for me to contact the task force?

For more information about the task force, you are encouraged to contact Bob Skipper, Director of Media Relations by calling 270-745-4295, or by email at bob.skipper@wku.edu. You are also encouraged to leave feedback on the WKU Naming and Symbols Task Force web site at https://www.wku.edu/naming-and-symbols/.

Has WKU ever changed the names of existing buildings?

Yes. The names of buildings have changed throughout WKU’s history. Here are a few examples of building names that no longer appear on the WKU campus map: Regents Hall, Sorority Hall, State Hall, Terrace Hall, West Hall, White Stone Hall, and Florence Schneider Hall.

Who names the buildings on the WKU campus?

Historically, the WKU president recommends names to the WKU Board of Regents who, in turn, vote to approve the names.

Which WKU president named the most buildings?

From 1906 to the present, WKU presidents were responsible for nearly all of named resources on campus. President Gary Ransdell named the most and was responsible for 27 names. President E. Kelly Thompson named 23, and President Dero G. Downing named nine buildings during his tenure at WKU. Only one WKU president did not name a single building before leaving the university; President Kern Alexander, who was president for less than three years.

Are there any buildings at WKU named for African Americans?

No. There are no buildings or other physical structures on the WKU campus named for African Americans.

Are there any buildings at WKU named for women?

Yes. As of 2021, five buildings on the WKU campus were named in honor of women.  Two are dormitories: Martha McDowell McLean (1872-1954) is the namesake of McLean Hall; and Bates Runner Hall was named for Georgia Bates (1916-1986) and Etta Runner (1894-1971). The Helm Library bears the name of Margie May Helm (1894-1991). Two other buildings named for women include the Kelly Burch Institute, named in memory of Kelly M. Burch (1963-2015); and the Suzanne Vitale Clinical Education Complex, named for Suzanne Vitale. Although not a building, there is a campus street named for a woman, Virginia Garrett Loop, named for Virginia E. Garrett, landscape architect and wife of WKU President Paul Garrett, himself the namesake of Garrett Conference Center.



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 Last Modified 2/26/21