Saunders Hall

Saunders Hall, home since 1922 to the History Department, and later the Religious Studies and Geography Departments, was named by the University’s Board of Trustees in honor of William L. Saunders, reputed head of North Carolina’s first Ku Klux Klan. In 1999, Students Seeking Historical Truth decorated Saunders Hall to draw attention to the University’s relationship to Saunders and his leadership of the Klan, and in 2014, the Real Silent Sam Coalition began organizing specifically to remove Saunders’s name from the building. In May 2015, Saunders Hall was renamed Carolina Hall, a direct result of almost two decades of student organizing, which had focused on Saunders Hall among many spaces within the campus landscape that honored leaders of white supremacist movements.

Students Seeking Historical Truth, Decoration of Saunders Hall, October 1999 in the John Kenyon Chapman Papers #5441, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Organization: Students Seeking Historical Truth, Campaign for Historical Accuracy and TruthFreedom Legacy Project, Real Silent Sam Coalition, On the Wake of Emancipation

Space Use: Academic

Spatial Organizing Approach: Contestation

Date Created: 1922

Date Ended: 2015

Campus Space: Saunders Hall

Citation: Interview with Blanche Brown by Charlotte Fryar, 15 April 2015, in the Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007), Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.