University of Georgia Set to Rename Buildings After Prominent African American Alumni


Following a request from University of Georgia President Jere W. Morehead, members of the University Cabinet voted on Wednesday to recommend renaming two facilities after prominent African American alumni.

The unanimous support would change the name of the Science Library in memory of Shirley Mathis McBay and a new residence hall in honor of Harold A. Black, Mary Blackwell Diallo and Kerry Rushin Miller.

In order for the building to be officially renamed, approval is required by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents.

“Through these namings, we acknowledge the importance of these pioneers in the history of our institution,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “We celebrate their remarkable achievements and recognize the profoundly positive, lasting impact they have made on the University of Georgia.”

McBay was the first African American to earn a doctorate from the university in 1966. She would go on to become MIT’s dean for student affairs and chair of the National Science Foundation’s committee on equal opportunity in science and engineering. Furthermore, she started and led a nonprofit for two decades, the Quality Education for Minorities Network (QEM).

Black, Diallo and Miller were the first African American students to enroll as freshmen and complete their undergraduate degrees.

The new residence hall named in their honor will house 525 first-year students, beginning in fall 2022. Black-Diallo-Miller Hall opens on the 60th anniversary of the individuals enrolling at the university.

“It is a privilege to recognize the incredible contributions of these individuals,” said Michelle Cook, vice provost for diversity and inclusion and strategic university initiatives. “They were instrumental in paving the way for so many who have come behind them, and these namings will ensure that their stories are forever a part of our institution’s history.”

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Cooper Moran is a reporter for The Star News Network. Follow Cooper on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “University of Georgia Main Library” by Coxonian. CC BY-SA 4.0.






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