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UNCG to rename Aycock Auditorium

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The University of North Carolina at Greensboro Board of Trustees voted to remove Gov. Charles Aycock’s name from the university’s auditorium.

Board Chairman Brad Hayes said the university voted to honor Aycock with the auditorium in 1928.

Aycock also had close ties and a friendship with UNCG’s founder and first president Charles Duncan McIver.

“Aycock was friends with McIver, that's a pretty well-known fact. He visited our campus several times during his years as governor, he spoke at our 1902 commencement and after the fire in 1904 he came to campus and spoke to students the very next day,” Hayes said.

Thursday morning in the subcommittee Aycock naming meeting, the recommendation to vote to remove the name passed 9-2. Hayes and Board Member Frances Bullock voted against it.

“You all are all in favor of education, not to let Aycock disappear, but it isn't going to be taught it is going to disappear,” Bullock said. “I think we ought to put something out front or inside that says what he did or what he was; maybe copies of his speeches, but I just don't think that we ought to try to rewrite history.”

Hayes mentioned in the Board of Trustee meeting that although he originally voted against it, he respected the subcommittees vote and would not vote again in the final vote. Bullock quietly changed her decision in the final vote.

The 10 members of the subcommittee consisted of five board members, including the student SGA president and members of the Aycock Ad Hoc committee.

Chancellor Franklin Gilliam made a statement before the voting of both meetings that explained the viewpoint of the administration, stating that the “actions, words and beliefs of Governor Aycock are antithetical of the core mission and values of the university.”

“I hope it says that the community and the university community understand that the world is changing and that successful communities change and adapt to that world,” Gilliam said.

When asked what happens next, Gilliam explained that the advisement committee will have to reconvene again to discuss a name replacement, one that fits within the given space.

Before the board voted to remove the name, a vote was made to begin an equational project between a campus historian and graduate students that will detail the life and contributions of Governor Aycock to the state and the university.