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Benton Hall

Benton Hall is the oldest surviving building on the Oregon State University campus. The building opened in September 1889. It is expected to be renamed in mid-April.

Oregon State University President Ed Ray will likely pick new names for three campus buildings in mid-April, a university spokesperson said last week.

Steve Clark, OSU’s vice president of marketing and university relations, said the university will launch a website to allow community members to make suggestions for new names for Benton Hall, the Benton Annex and Avery Lodge the week of March 12. Ray decided to rename the buildings in November, following a series of meetings discussing the racial legacies of the building’s namesakes.

The same week the website launches, Clark said the university will convene three committees, one for each building to be renamed, which will begin evaluating suggestions for new names from the public — and possibly generating names of their own.

Clark said the committees will be trying to pick names that take into account the history of the building, the history of the Corvallis and the purpose the building has now. Clark said the history of the buildings and their past namesakes will be detailed in educational displays in the lobbies of each of the buildings, which Ray called for when he announced the decision to rename the buildings.

“The history is being renewed,” Clark said.

Clark said the committees will have representatives of various building stakeholders, including students, faculty, members of the committee that evaluated the renaming decision in the fall of 2017 and representatives of the administration for the department that uses the building.

The committees will present potential names for the buildings at a public meeting the week of April 2, Clark said, and the community can also make comments on the possible names, or offer their own suggestions at that time.

Following the meeting, the committees will each make recommendations for new names for the buildings to OSU’s Architectural Naming Committee, which Clark chairs.

Clark said the committee would likely make a recommendation to Ray early in the week of April 16, and Ray would likely make a decision based on that recommendation later in that week.

Anthony Rimel covers education and can be reached at, 541-758-9526, or via Twitter @anthonyrimel.


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