Cleveland State University Votes to Officially Change Name of Marshall Law School

The decision comes after years of pressure to remove the name of an "unrepetent slave owner"

click to enlarge Cleveland State University Votes to Officially Change Name of Marshall Law School
Cleveland State University

The Cleveland State University board of trustees today voted unanimously to  rename its law school the Cleveland State University College of Law from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

The vote followed recommendations from an ad hoc commitee composed of students, faculty and alumni, that earlier this year recommended the change as to no longer memorialize John Marshall, an "unrepetent slave owner."

The committee had said that John Marshall does not well represent a majority-minority city like Cleveland and was inconsistent with the university's values. Marshall's slaveholding, and his unwillingness to free his slaves as others in his era did so, was the main reason for the committee's decision.

Cleveland city council and students had also urged CSU leaders to ditch the name.

In a statement Thursday, Students Against Marshall said it "is relieved that finally, after nearly 3 years, two CSU Presidents, two investigative committees, and however many man-hours and taxpayer dollars were spent on this issue, the CSU Board of Trustees has decided to listen to students. We, the future alumni, donors, and leaders of Cleveland and Ohio, have been ignored while the Board callously graduated two classes with a slave owner on their diplomas. We are grateful for this progress but are realistic about the amount of work Cleveland State University must do to repair its relationship with its students of color and their allies, and root out the many systemic prejudices that exist within this institution."

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