Name of Macalester founder removed from campus building

Edward Duffield Neill had controversial views on race

WCCO Radio Newsroom
November 19, 2019 - 6:53 am



Macalester College's board of trustees Monday decided to remove the name of the school's founder from one of its building following complaints from student activists.  

Rev. Edward Duffield Neill founded the St. Paul institution in 1874, and in recent years has been criticized for having racist and sexist views. 

Historical writings show Neill supported the forced assimilation of indiginous land to private owners, and opposed the co-education of men and women.  

Neill was the first president of Macalester after serving as the first chancellor of the University of Minnesota.

Minnesota’s first superintendent of public instruction, and wrote more than a dozen books on colonial and Minnesota history.

“The language and attitudes expressed toward indigenous people in those writings are racist and dehumanizing in the extreme, even by the admittedly different standards of the time,” according to a joint statement by the Macalester board of trustees and school President Brian Rosenberg, who recommended the change last week.

A statement also says the decision to remove Neill's name from the humanities building is consistent with Macalester's mission and values.

The building will remain without an official name until a new one is chosen, according to college officials.


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