In January 2023, Chancellor Andrew D. Martin appointed the Committee to Examine Remembrance and Commemoration (CRC). 

The committee was charged with recommending principles and processes to inform reflection of Washington University’s history as an institution as it relates to naming and commemoration. In particular, the committee was tasked with developing a framework for examining requests from the campus community to reconsider naming of university features (buildings, spaces, scholarships, and professorships.) 

The committee submitted recommendations to the Chancellor, and the recommendations were approved by the Board of Trustees in December 2023. 

Upon approval by the Board of Trustees, the Naming Review Board (NRB) was formed to operationalize the process for reconsidering a naming or commemoration recommended by the CRC. Reports may be submitted to the Naming Review Board starting March 2024.

Foundational Principles

The Naming Review Board’s work will be guided by the following foundational principles for consistency in review and recommendation: 

  1. Washington University’s teaching, learning and patient care objectives are fundamentally enhanced by fostering diversity throughout the campus. An essential factor to contemplate is how the university recognizes individuals and organizations who have made important contributions to the university but who engaged in violence, discrimination, or other actions against others on the basis of race, gender, religion, national origin, sexual identity, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, or age. 
  2. The strongest reason to contextualize or remove a name is if the individual or entity in question supported or engaged in slavery, genocide, or discrimination based on characteristics such as race, gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, or age. 
  3. Renaming or other forms of contextualization may also be appropriate when the individual or entity at issue is directly associated with significant criminal activity or other destructive behavior with broad societal concerns. 
  4. The decision to rename or otherwise contextualize should be an inclusive and rigorous process, grounded in the validity of historical evidence. 
  5. The final recommendations should encompass both immediate and enduring actions, with the goal of accurately and appropriately portraying the legacy of Washington University and the significant figures who have contributed to it.