The East Carolina University Board of Trustees’ recent decision to transition the name of Gov. C.B. Aycock from a residence hall to a new education resource that will be developed on campus has received a good bit of media coverage and feedback from various constituencies.
The trustees appreciate the continued interest and passion on this important topic. Much of the coverage has focused on the issue of a building name, and that’s to be expected. But as board chair, I also would like to emphasize the educational aspects of our comprehensive action, specifically our decision to create Heritage Hall, which the trustees decided is the most appropriate place on campus to recognize Aycock.
The board was unanimous in its support for transition of the recognition of Aycock to Heritage Hall in large measure because it is an educational approach we felt was especially appropriate for an institution of higher learning. The board’s motion describes Heritage Hall as a permanent place of recognition on campus for persons with historical significance to our community. It will be a place in which those persons will be presented in an authentic and comprehensive context. This will allow students, alumni, supporters, visitors and others to make their own value judgments of any person recognized there.
The Aycock name and recognition will be within that space once it is completed, which is why the board action very rightly refers to this as a transition of Aycock’s recognition.
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Our educational approach demonstrates our conviction to understand more about Aycock and other persons significant to ECU’s history, not less, and our conviction to establish a dedicated place on campus in which to learn about and discuss that history.
My own vision as chair of the trustees is that Heritage Hall – the cost of which will be sourced through private donations – will be of a stature, content and substance such that it will serve as a compelling teaching and instructional space. We hope and intend for this new educational space to be something that we can be very proud of.
I have begun preliminary work with the chancellor and with the trustees’ Athletics and Advancement Committee to more fully conceptualize Heritage Hall. As we move forward, we expect to communicate with students, alumni, faculty, staff, supporters and others within our community about this exciting project.
Thanks again for interest in and support of our great university and its mission, vision and values.
Chair, ECU Board of Trustees
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