NC State University votes to rename Daniels Hall, named after white supremacist

DeJuan Hoggard Image
Monday, June 22, 2020
NC State University votes to rename Daniels Hall, named after white supremacist
NC State University votes to rename Daniels Hall, named after white supremacist

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- In a unanimous vote held via Zoom Monday morning, the North Carolina State University Board of Trustees agreed to rename Daniels Hall on the school's campus.

The building, which was once full of engineering students and now unoccupied, was named in 1938 after Josephus Daniels.

In the 1890s, Daniels gained a controlling interest in the Raleigh News & Observer. He used the paper to promote white supremacy even calling the Fifteenth Amendment (which gave black people the right to vote) "the greatest folly and crime in our national history."

Daniels and the News & Observer were cited in a government report as being directly involved for the Wilmington Massacre of 1898.

The event was reported at the time as a race riot but later revealed for what it was: a violent a coup d'état organized by white supremacists. White supremacists from across the state descended on Wilmington, killing black people and ultimately overthrowing a duly elected government.

"A building named in Josephus Daniels honor is in complete opposition to the values of NC State," said chancellor Randy Woodson. "It is contrary to the best interest of our university and serves as a constant reminder of this painful chapter in our state's history."

Statue of white supremacist Josephus Daniels removed from Raleigh's Nash Square

Just last week, the family of Josephus Daniels had his statue removed from Nash Square, across the street from the old headquarters of the News & Observer.

The trustees held Monday morning's meeting with only the building's renaming on the agenda.

Woodson said in the meeting that he had been in contact with the Daniels family. "They understand why this is so important to NC State and the community," Woodson added. "They spent three generations since Josephus, working to overcome this legacy through their combined good work."

Josephus Daniels died in 1948 at the age of 85.

Wake County Schools votes unanimously to rename Daniels Middle School, which was named for known white supremacist

The Board of Trustees agreed renaming Daniels Hall due to Daniels' tie to White supremacy and his "active leadership".

Engineering classes have since been moved to the Centennial Campus while the now-former Daniels Hall is under renovation. Trustees also agreed to postpone renaming the building until renovations are complete.