The University of Maryland’s Harry C. “Curley” Byrd Stadium will now be known as Maryland Stadium, following a Dec. 11 vote of the university’s Board of Regents.
The board voted 12 to 5 in support of the change, and also imposed a five-year moratorium on the naming of campus buildings after people.
The change was suggested by President Wallace D. Loh in a campus-wide e-mail on Dec. 7 following several protests on campus from student campus groups over the name, and the Loh’s creation of a group to examine the issue.
Byrd Stadium pays homage to Byrd, who greatly expanded the university as president but was also a noted segregationist who kept Black students out of the university until 1950, when Baltimore’s Parren J. Mitchell filed a lawsuit to be admitted to the university’s graduate school. Byrd died in 1970.
“Continuing the Byrd Stadium name divides us at a time when we need unity more than ever. We must accept the full truth of our past and the possibilities of our future,” Loh said in a statement.
Byrd will not be completely removed from the campus, however. The university will “memorialize the accomplishments and full legacy of President Byrd in one of UMD’s main libraries,” according to a statement, but has not determined the form that memorial will take.
In addition, the university said it will launch a campus-wide “Maryland Dialogues on Diversity and Community” next year in hopes of bridging racial divides present at the institution.