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UMaine seeking approval to rename building named for controversial 1920s president

Based on the recommendations of a university-wide task force, a request will be made to remove Clarence C. Little's name from the campus building bearing his name.

ORONO, Maine — University of Maine (UMaine) President Joan Ferrini-Munday will seek approval from the University of Maine System Board of Trustees to remove the name of Clarence C. Little from an academic building. 

Little served as UMaine president from 1922-1925. He was a supporter of the tobacco industry and was a eugenicist. 

Eugenics aims to improve the human species by discouraging groups judged inferior from reproducing. Its goal is to encourage those judged to hold desirable hereditary traits to reproduce.  

"This clearly violates the UMaine mission statement ‘that honors the heritage and diversity of our state and nation,’" Ferrini-Mundy said in a statement regarding Little Hall.

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Ferrini-Mundy added renaming Little Hall provides UMaine with the opportunity to promote reflection and conversations to address specific issues of racism. 

The request to change the name of Little Hall will be made to the University of Maine System Board of Trustees at its meeting in September. 

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