UA Trustees Elect to Rename Nott Hall
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama board of trustees voted unanimously on Wednesday afternoon to rename Nott Hall to Honors Hall following concerns around the man who the building was named after, Dr. Josiah C. Nott, arose.
Nott was a slave owner who lived from 1804-1873 and is renowned for arguing that African Americans were inferior to whites.
"Dr. Nott was one of a number of physicians that helped start the medical college of Alabama in Mobile back in the 1800s," committee head Judge John England Jr. said. "The board further verified that Dr. Nott was a former slaver who misused medical evidence to honor that non-white races were inferior and that my ancestors, my [unintelligible audio] brothers, were destined for destruction."
The hall houses the Honors College on UA's campus and was dedicated to Nott in 1922.
"[The committee] also made the determination that any links between Dr. Nott and our university are scarce at best," England said. "It is our recommendation — and it is unanimous — that we rename Nott Hall to Honors Hall, which we deem an appropriate and worthy designation for this academic building at this time."
Following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis that started protests for racial justice across the country, the board of trustees formed a committee to begin the process of renaming several buildings on campus associated with former KKK members and slave owners.
The trustees selected for the committee are England, Barbara Humphrey, Vanessa Leonard, Harris Morrissette, Scott Phelps and Stan Starnes.
England clarified that due to the potential confusion for the new name of Honors Hall due in part to multiple dorms being referred to as 'honors dorms', the new name is likely to be temporary.
Nott Hall is the first building to officially be renamed by the board of trustees. However, at a meeting on June 8, the committee also elected to have three plaques removed from the front of Gorgas Library dedicated to fallen Confederate soldiers.