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UC alum continues to push for removal of McMicken name

Posted at 3:56 PM, Jul 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-23 19:34:57-04

CINCINNATI — A University of Cincinnati alum is continuing their quest to get the name of Charles McMicken removed from buildings and structures on campus.

In December, UC agreed to remove the name of Charles McMicken, a former slave owner, from the school’s college of arts and sciences. But his name is still engraved on many structures throughout the campus.

Earlier this year, digital displays were installed to provide context and explain why McMicken’s name is etched throughout campus.

Maurice Stewart, an alum, thinks more can be done.

“Over the years, learning who Charles McMicken was I decided I didn't want his name on my degree anymore,” Stewart said.

Stewart was not the only one who wanted the name off their diploma. There was already a committee exploring options for the removal. It was decided then by the board to remove the name from the college of arts and sciences, but not completely -- the McMicken name would stay on buildings and structures throughout campus.

“At that point I was OK with the steps that they made. I think it was a great step forward. But considering what has happened in this country with George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, I think the university has even more of a step to take,” Stewart said.

Stewart said that step is removing the name completely from campus.

“As an African American student, I shouldn’t have to walk in and see that the building is named after a slave owner. Regardless of the context. Especially if the university is dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion,” he said.

Stewart reached out to UC President Neville G. Pinto's office asking if they would consider further stripping the name from campus buildings and signage. Pinto's office told Stewart they do not plan to take “any more additional action on property bearing the McMicken name” in an email.

WCPO has reached out to the university for comment on the future of McMicken’s name on UC’s campus but has not received a response.