The Special Committee on Acknowledgment and Naming was formed to develop a process and policies that will guide how the college names buildings, spaces, funds and campus programs.

The committee’s work will follow a two-stage process:

  • They will develop a policy to ensure that the college’s naming practices reflect its Statement of Purpose and values. This work is underway, and a draft policy will be presented to the Board of Trustees and shared with our community.
  • Only after that policy is finalized, the committee will evaluate possible renaming requests against the policy.

This committee, which shall be composed of Trustees and non-Trustees appointed by the Chair of the Board of Trustees, is entrusted with the following responsibilities: 

  • Engage broadly with the Davidson community so as to understand and appreciate our current practices with respect to naming as well as the range of views within the community on naming practices. 
  • Recommend a process and criteria to determine whether names of existing buildings, spaces, funds and major programs should be re-evaluated. 
  • Develop an acknowledgment and naming policy for the college. 
  • Undertake any re-evaluation, if necessary, of identified buildings, spaces, funds, and major programs identified by the Committee’s process. 

Erwin Carter '79, Member of the Board of Trustees, Chair of the Special Committee on Acknowledgement and Naming

Committee News

Campus Scene bright tree buds in front of building cropped

Trustees Approve Acknowledgment and Naming Policy

On Tuesday, April 12, 2022, the Davidson College Board of Trustees approved the naming policy put forth by the Special Committee on Acknowledgment and Naming. Read more.

Recording of Community Conversation Event

Hear from Erwin Carter ’79, chair of the Special Committee on Acknowledgment and Naming, and learn about the proposed policy addressing how Davidson College names buildings, programs and funds and how, on rare occasions, a building, program or fund’s name may be reevaluated.

Aerial Shot of Campus

For Trustees, Learning Comes Before Deciding

The Acknowledgment and Naming Committee members spent their first months on one thing: homework. The group learned that naming buildings and public places at a college or university is like any other effort of great importance. It requires a plan. Read more.

Committee Members

  • Erwin Carter '79, Chair
  • David Barnard '79
  • Reid French '93
  • Beverly Smith Hance
  • Gloria Nlewedim '17
  • Steve Shames '96
  • Joel Williamson '67

Consulting Members

  • Clark Ross, faculty           
  • Hilary Green, advisor
  • Eileen Keeley, staff
  • Sarah Phillips, staff

Committee Reports

The Special Committee on Acknowledgment and Naming shall make periodic reports to the College and Community Relations Committee. The Special Committee shall work with the College and Community Relations Committee to bring recommendations to the Board.


We look forward to engaging the community in aspects of this work and will circulate details as those opportunities become available. If you would like to stay up to date on the work of the committee by adding your name to our mailing list, or if you have other questions, please use this form or email


Date Task

August 2020

Davidson College Commission on Race and Slavery issues its report, including a recommendation that the college examine the naming of public buildings.

October 2020

Davidson College Trustees appoint a Special Committee (of Trustees) on Acknowledgment and Naming.

November 2020

Special Committee holds its first meeting (virtually).

Fall 2020–Spring 2021

Continued meetings around historical readings, examinations of efforts by other institutions.

Summer 2021

Discuss principles and criteria for taking action around names of buildings, spaces, funds, or programs on campus.

August 2021

Anticipated discussion with the Board of what has been learned so far and the draft principles and criteria.

Fall 2021–Winter 2022

Events in Davidson, in other locations and virtually for the committee to share and discuss both what they have learned and the principles and criteria they are considering.

Winter–Spring 2022

Committee continues to meet regularly to reflect on feedback from community and develop a final draft policy to present to the board.

Spring 2022

Bring to the full board a proposed naming policy which will include how to examine and consider taking action around names of buildings or public spaces on campus.