Maryland student gov. supports call to change Byrd Stadium name

Friday April 10th, 2015

The Maryland student government has agreed to support a demand that the school change the name of its football stadium, according to The Washington Post

A student coalition has called for Byrd Stadium, which is named after former university president Curley Byrd, to be re-named due to the fact that it says Byrd was a racist and segregationist. Byrd was a known supporter of "separate but equal" segregation for the races. 

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Byrd was the president of Maryland from 1936 to 1954 and was the coach of the Terps football team before that. The student government says that Byrd "barred blacks from participating in sports and enrolling into the university until 1951."

The leader of the student coalition trying to get the name changed is Colin Byrd (no relation to Curley Byrd), who explained to the Post why he is involved in the campaign. 

"Because, quite frankly, if Curley Byrd had his way, I would not have attended this university," Colin Byrd said. "My father would not have attended this university. Every other black student, black athlete, black faculty member, who has blessed this university, and who has been blessed by this university, would not have had the opportunity to call themselves terrapins. And that’s powerful."

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The University System of Maryland Board of Regents holds authority over the naming of the buildings on campus.

A Maryland spokesman told the Post on Wednesday that the existing names on the College Park campus buildings represent the university’s long history and culture. The spokesman said the matter "has been sent to the university's Facilities Naming Committee for further review."

- Molly Geary


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