Winter 2021 Issue

Naming, Renaming Spaces

By Erin Zagursky and Brian Whitson

In September, William & Mary’s Board of Visitors adopted a set of principles and imperatives for the naming and renaming of structures and spaces on campus. The principles were developed by a working group of students, faculty, staff and alumni established this summer by President Katherine A. Rowe in response to a charge from Rector John E. Littel P ’22.

In accordance with the principles, the board approved the renaming of two spaces. Trinkle Hall, within the Campus Center on W&M’s campus, became Unity Hall, and Maury Hall at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science became York River Hall.

Trinkle was named for former Virginia Gov. Elbert Lee Trinkle, who “signed some of the most pernicious Jim Crow laws in Virginia’s history,” according to the board action. Maury Hall was named for Matthew Fontaine Maury, an oceanographer and Confederate military officer. Neither Trinkle nor Maury had a special relationship with W&M.