Naming committees expected to make recommendations this semester, LeBlanc says

Media Credit: Sophia Young | Contributing Photo Editor

LeBlanc said officials prioritized renaming requests for Marvin Center and the Colonials moniker before other inquiries because they have long been topics of "intense interest."

University President Thomas LeBlanc said he expects the Special Committee on the Colonials Moniker and the Special Committee on the Marvin Center Name to make their recommendations this semester.

LeBlanc said in an interview Monday that he asked the two committees to submit their recommendations at least one month before any regularly scheduled Board of Trustees meeting. Based on that timeline, the Board could reach a decision by their May meeting or June retreat if the committees find a compelling case for renaming.

“The ultimate decision on the recommendation will be made and announced by the Board of Trustees,” he said. “We’re not likely to be commenting along the way. This is a process that really culminates in a decision by the Board, and there’s not a lot to say in the middle of the process, but we obviously will keep the community posted on the progress of those committees.”

The renaming framework states that if the special committees find a convincing case for renaming either the Marvin Center or Colonials nickname, LeBlanc will consult with Board Chair Grace Speights to determine if the measure will be presented to trustees. He said trustees would take up the matter at their next regularly scheduled Board meeting.

LeBlanc said the committees have been “hard at work,” and he has been in regular contact with Ward 3 Council member Mary Cheh, a professor of law who chairs the Colonials committee, and Roger Fairfax, a professor of law who chairs the Marvin Center committee.

He added that he is focusing on these two committees first before considering other renaming requests because the Colonials moniker and Marvin Center name have long been topics of “intense interest.” GW community members submitted requests to rename The Churchill Center, the Monroe Hall of Government and Fulbright, Madison and Francis Scott Key halls.

“We are aware that there have been other requests,” LeBlanc said. “Frankly, putting these committees together and supporting their work is a significant effort.”

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