Presidential Commission on University History
March 9, 2021, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Call to Order – Elizabeth West
This meeting of the Presidential Commission on University History at the University of South Carolina Columbia campus took place virtually via Microsoft Teams. Elizabeth West called this meeting to order at 11 am.
Next Meeting: April 6, 2021, at 11 a.m.
Roll call - Pam Pope
Commission Attendees: Christian Anderson, Jessica Allison, Stacey Bradley, Maggie Carson, Melissa DeVelvis, Myisha Eatmon, Walter Edgar, Edward Floyd, Jennifer Gunter, William Hubbard, IS Leevy Johnson, Jonathan Leader, Andrea L’Hommedieu, Valinda Littlefield, Derrick Meggie, Harris Pastides, Carla Pfeffer, Karen Roberts, Eve Ross, Issy Rushton, Todd Shaw, Harry Singleton, James Smith, David Snyder, Frank Thorne, Robin Waites, Elizabeth West, Hannah White, Qiana Whitted, Jeff Wilkinson, Julian Williams.
Approval of Minutes:
- February 12 meeting minutes were approved.
- February 18 meeting minutes, with a correction to the spelling of Carla Pfeffer’s name.
Scheduling a “town hall” to include a Q&A portion was discussed. It was suggested that late afternoon meetings are best for the Commission members. The importance of public input, including advertising the forum widely on campus was emphasized.
Pastides requested a recent Post and Courier opinion piece on the Commission’s work be shared with the members.
- Communications and Education – Elizabeth West. Subcommittee will be meeting later in the afternoon. It will compile public input that has been received and will send it to the full Commission for consideration. Updates on the website are in progress.
- Names on the Landscape – Andrea L’Hommedieu. The frequency of meetings has been increased. Seven research files have been completed and one more is in progress.
- University History – Jennifer Gunter and Valinda Littlefield. The subcommittee is
meeting every other week. It is producing brief write ups on names that may be recommended
as naming possibilities for buildings or other places on the landscape. Names have
been collected from many sources (website form, NAACP suggestions, Board chair letter,
etc.). Further discussion about possible issues honoring people who are still living.
Renaming colleges and rooms, rather than building was discussed as an immediate action
that could be taken.
- Harris Pastides suggested working closely with the Board of Trustees on this opportunity/process.
- William Hubbard emphasized the importance of established fundraising efforts already underway.
- Pastides suggested leaving the attachment of a name to a specific location to the administration; the Commission might make the suggestions but would not make the decision.
- Course descriptions geared toward gathering oral histories and research are being developed. The webpage is being updated to include an expanded history. The first draft of a letter in support of the Wheeler HIll issue will be available fore the April commission meeting. UNIC naming criteria has been requested but not yet received; other universities' criteria have been collected to consider as guidelines.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:33 a.m.