Last semester, the Campus Echo interviewed Dr. Jim C. Harper II, Chair of the N.C. Central University History Department, for a report regarding the history and current standing of the name of the Hoey Administration Building.
The interview yielded knowledge not only about the Circle and its legacy on NCCU’s campus, but about the University as a whole. The landscape of NCCU, it’s foundation, “beautiful campus” and new structures came about in parallel with talk about the profound existence of one of the campus’s most prominent buildings: the Clyde R. Hoey Administration Building.
Clyde R. Hoey was a segregationist who funded the HBCU in an effort to uphold segregation throughout the Carolina. Last year, NCCU Political Science major Ajamu Dillahunt-Holloway started a petition on Change.org to rename the building. The responses have spanned from students to members of the university’s administration. A significant voice to hear has an understanding of the University and seasoned insight of the campus.
In the interview, Senior and Mass Communication major Kelly Thomas asks about the change circulating North Carolina regarding building names, and a suggestion for a new name proposal for the Hoey Building. Dr. Harper states that “several of our presidents, including our past founder, have done a great job at taking the institution to the next level. We also have several affluent alumni that could also have their names on the list to be selected. But you talk about what’s happening here at Duke and at UNC- I think that it shows how students have a level of consciousness about what they want the future to look like, and I think it’s important that they have a historical context as to what it was, because everything that was done at the time was done as a sign of that particular time. And so, you all are setting another tone because you want a different future- you want a different reflection of a different future that your children and your children’s children will see. So, I think that it’s good to have a discussion, and if the buildings are changed I think that their people are giving enough thought to it, and they’re allowing for the students’ voice to be heard. And that, I think, is what’s going to make for a much better and prosperous future.”
The interview, held in our Chair’s office, was both enlightening and it asks for students to know their history. The next steps of the administration will be told through time, and we all hope for an agreeable future at the “sloping hills and verdant green” of NCCU.