There’s no clear consensus currently on the topic of the name of Aycock Auditorium. But one thing is clear: People want an educational component.
The UNCG Board of Trustees on May 6 heard a presentation by Acting Chancellor Dana Dunn May 6.
Aycock Auditorium, built in 1927, was named for former Governor C.B. Aycock, who served 1901-05. He was known as the “Education Governor.” He had ties to UNCG (when it was known as the State Normal School). While governor, he and President Charles McIver (who had been friends since they were students at UNC Chapel Hill) worked with the Southern Education Board, a group of Southern reformers who advocated for increased support and funding for public education. He visited the State Normal College (UNCG) several times during his years as governor. He spoke at the 1902 commencement ceremony. In January 1904, after a fire destroyed Brick Dormitory (at the site of today’s McIver Building), Aycock came to the college and, along with McIver, spoke at the student assembly the next day. Aycock later worked with McIver to secure funds to construct a new facility.1
Aycock’s white supremacist political leadership and views have received increased attention in recent years and two other universities have removed his name from buildings.
The Aycock Ad Hoc Committee prepared the report, after a semester of research and fact-finding. Dr. Chuck Bolton and Rod Wyatt co-chaired the committee. Two forums were held, and the online survey yield more than 1,000 responses
Dunn presented results from the committee’s survey. As for the question of whether or not the name should be changed, there’s no clear answer from the survey. 52 percent would vote to change the name and 48 percent would vote the retain the name.
Knowing that the university will have a new chancellor this summer – and several new trustees will join the board – Dunn recommended and the trustees decided to move forward with examining the educational aspect of this issue. However, a decision about the name will not be made now; it’s anticipated that the chancellor and trustees will take that issue up later this year.
See the committee’s report at http://aycock.wp.uncg.edu/report.
See the committee’s website at aycock.uncg.edu.
1 Information from Ad Hoc Committee’s website.
By Mike Harris