VCU Committee on Commemoration and Memorials

2020/Mk17b - Removal of the Stonewall Jackson memorial on Monument Ave. in Richmond Va

Status of commemorations and memorials

Oct. 21, 2020

The next phase of this important work is to coordinate with VCU Facilities Management to enact the approved recommendations for each item on both the Monroe Park and MCV campuses. Follow the progress of each building name or monument here.

Key: AARB: Arts and Architectural Review Board; DHR: Virginia Department of Historic Resources


VCU Board of Visitors Resolutions

DECOMMEMORATING CONFEDERATE SYMBOLISM ON VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH UNIVERSITY CAMPUSES

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Virginia Commonwealth University Board of Visitors (the "Board") approves the decommemoration and removal of certain names from Virginia Commonwealth University buildings and associated places and to advance decommemoration processes, in accordance with applicable Virginia law on removal of art and changes to structures, for Confederate symbolism.

Download the full, first resolution (PDF)

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COMMEMORATING DR. MURRY DEPILLARS

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Virginia Commonwealth University Board of Visitors (the "Board") expresses immense gratitude for the significant accomplishments of Dr. Murry DePillars and does hereby grant approval to begin commemoration activities for Dr. Murry DePillars, by honoring his contributions in the form of naming a soon-to-be identified School of the Arts building as the Dr. Murry DePillars building.

Download the full, second resolution (PDF)

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF INTENT TO COMMEMORATE BY DEPARTMENT OF AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Virginia Commonwealth University Board of Visitors (the "Board") acknowledges and supports the Department of African American Studies’ intent to commemorate their academic building and hereby authorizes removing the name "Harrison" from the building currently occupied by the department.

Download the full, third resolution (PDF)


Media

Chair’s Notes


Public comment

The public comment period ended on Aug. 14. However, you may still view the submitted comments on each item below.

Baruch Auditorium

RECOMMENDED ACTION: The committee recommends the de-commemoration and removal of the plaque outside the Baruch Auditorium on the MCV campus.

BACKGROUND: Philanthropist Bernard Baruch gave $100,000 to the Medical College of Virginia (MCV) to support the renovation of the Egyptian Building in 1939 to honor his father, Simon Baruch. The elder Baruch graduated from MCV in 1862 and went on to serve as a surgeon in the confederate army. The plaque in the lobby outside the auditorium lists Baruch’s accomplishments and mentions his confederate service. There is an additional plaque at the entrance to the building stating MCV’s role in the Civil War.

View comments - Baruch Auditorium

Dooley Hospital

RECOMMENDED ACTION: The committee recommends the de-commemoration and removal of the name and all associated mentions and references to the Dooley Hospital.

BACKGROUND: This building no longer stands but the portico/entrance was retained adjacent to the Egyptian Building with the name etched in the limestone. Dooley served in the confederate army.

View comments - Dooley Hospital

Fitzhugh Lee Monument

RECOMMENDED ACTION: The committee recommends petitioning the city of Richmond to de-commemorate and remove the Fitzhugh Lee monument in Monroe Park (already in progress by the city).

BACKGROUND: In 1911, the 7th Army Corps Veterans Association and Auxiliary placed a memorial marker in Monroe Park for General Fitzhugh Lee, the nephew of Robert E. Lee. Fitzhugh Lee served as a general in both the Civiland Spanish-American Wars. He also served as the 40th governor of the Commonwealth.

View comments - Fitzhugh Lee Monument

Ginter House

RECOMMENDED ACTION: The committee recommends the de-commemoration and removal of the name and all associated mentions and references to the Ginter House.

BACKGROUND: This building is named for Lewis Ginter who served in the confederate army. He built the home and the name was retained when the building was acquired by RPI.

View comments - Ginter House

Harrison House

RECOMMENDED ACTION: The committee recommends the removal of the name "Harrison" from Harrison House.

BACKGROUND: The committee recommends the removal of the name "Harrison" from Harrison House. This action clears the way for VCU's Department of African American Studies to engage in efforts to commemorate and name the building.

View comments - Harrison House

Howitzer Statue

RECOMMENDED ACTION: The committee recommends petitioning the city of Richmond to de-commemorate and remove the Howitzer statue near Park and Harrison Streets (already in progress by the city).

BACKGROUND: In 1892, the Richmond Howitzer Association erected a monument dedicated to the Richmond Howitzers Artillery Battalion. Artist and former Howitzer member William Ludwell Sheppard created the statue of the artillery man.

View comments - Howitzer Statue

Jefferson Davis Memorial Chapel

RECOMMENDED ACTION: The committee recommends the de-commemoration, permanent closure, and removal of four plaques that reference Jefferson Davis and Kathryn Wittichen in and around West Hospital on the MCV campus.

BACKGROUND: In 1960, the MCV Board of Visitors accepted a gift of approximately $30,000 from the United Daughters of the Confederacy to create a chapel as a tribute to confederate president Jefferson Davis and for use by the MCV community. MCV dedicated the chapel on November 12, 1960. Initially it included a confederate battle flag which was removed a few years ago. The chapel includes several plaques in honor of Davis and the president of the Richmond United Daughters of the Confederacy. There is also a plaque in the lobby of West Hospital directing visitors to the 17th floor to the chapel.

View comments - Jefferson Davis Memorial Chapel

Joseph Bryan Statue

RECOMMENDED ACTION: The committee recommends petitioning the city of Richmond to de-commemorate and remove the Joseph Bryan statue in Monroe Park (already in progress by the city).

BACKGROUND: This is a statue of Joseph Bryan, the Richmond newspaper publisher and philanthropist. During the Civil War, Bryan initially served with the Richmond Howitzers and then with Colonel John Mosby’s cavalry brigade.

View comments - Joseph Bryan Statue

McGuire Hall

RECOMMENDED ACTION: The committee recommends the de-commemoration and removal of the Alexander Stephens plaque and bust of Hunter McGuire from McGuire Hall.

BACKGROUND: In 1912, the University College of Medicine (UCM) opened a new instructional building at the corner of 11th and Clay Streets. The college’s former building on that site burned in 1910. That former building had served as the Richmond residence of confederate vice president Alexander Stephens during his brief stay in Richmond during the Civil War. At the time of the new building’s opening, the Confederate Memorial Literary Society placed a plaque on the exterior of the building noting this fact. MCV acquired the building in 1913 when it merged with the University College of Medicine.

The new building was called the "new school" or the UCM building until December 1927 when the MCV Board of Visitors named it "McGuire Hall" in honor of Hunter Holmes McGuire, the founder of the University College of Medicine. McGuire, who served as professor of surgery at MCV, was the medical director of Stonewall Jackson’s second corps during the Civil War. Inside of McGuire Hall on the stairway landing between the first and second floors is a bust of McGuire sculpted by John Brodnax, a former MCV professor of anatomy. McGuire’s son, Dr. Stuart McGuire served as dean, president and a member of the Board of Visitors for MCV.

View comments - McGuire Hall

McGuire Hall

RECOMMENDED ACTION: The committee recommends the de-commemoration and removal of the name and all associated mentions and references to McGuire Hall.

BACKGROUND: This hall was named in honor of Hunter Holmes McGuire by the Medical College of Virginia in 1927. It is the former University College of Medicine Building (a separate medical school that merged with MCV in 1913) which was founded by Hunter Holmes McGuire, who served as a medical director in the confederate army.

View comments - McGuire Hall name

MCV Alumni House

RECOMMENDED ACTION: The committee recommends petitioning VCU Health to consider the de-commemoration and removal of a plaque commemorating the work of Matthew Fontaine Maury from the MCV Alumni House; as well as the name and all associated mentions and references to the Maupin-Maury House, now known as the MCV Alumni House.

BACKGROUND: The present MCV Alumni House was constructed with various architectural features from the original Maupin-Maury House formerly located on the south side of Clay Street where the Ambulatory Care Center is today. MCV Founder Socrates Maupin built the house in 1846. When he left Richmond to accept a position at the University of Virginia, he sold the house to his cousin Robert Maupin. During the Civil War, Matthew Fontaine Maury stayed at the house and conducted experiments with the underwater torpedo that he was developing for the confederate navy. The Confederate Memorial Literacy Society placed a plaque on the house in 1910 to commemorate Maury’s work. This plaque and an additional new plaque were placed on the new alumni house in 1993.

View comments - MCV Alumni House

Murry DePillars

RECOMMENDED ACTION: The committee recommends the commemoration and adding the name Murry DePillars to a soon-to-be-identified School of the Arts building.

BACKGROUND: Murry DePillars was dean of VCU's School of the Arts from 1976 until 1995, having served the previous five years as assistant dean. He was awarded the title of Professor Emeritus upon retirement and received the Presidential Medallion, honoring extraordinary commitment in learning and commitment to the mission of VCU. DePillars died at his Richmond, VA home on May 31, 2008.

View comments - Murry DePillars Name

Tompkins-McCaw Library

RECOMMENDED ACTION: The committee recommends the de-commemoration and removal of the Tompkins-McCaw Library plaque and the portrait of John Syng Dorsey Cullen.

BACKGROUND: At the suggestion of MCV Comptroller William F. Tompkins, the MCV Board of Visitors named the college library in honor of five members of two Virginia families in March of 1950. The library is named for Christopher Tompkins, J. McCaw Tompkins, Sally Tompkins, James B. McCaw, and Walter Drew McCaw. James McCaw served as the organizer and commandant of Chimborazo Hospital during the Civil War. Sally Tompkins ran a private hospital in Richmond and received an army commission from the confederate government. A plaque in the vestibule of the library lists the five namesakes and a brief description of their accomplishments and contributions to the college.

Inside the Tompkins-McCaw Library, on public display, are portraits of a number of faculty members who served the confederacy in a variety of capacities. One of these portraits is of John Syng Dorsey Cullen, who is depicted in his confederate uniform.

View comments - Tompkins-McCaw Library

Tompkins-McCaw Library 

RECOMMENDED ACTION: The committee recommends the de-commemoration and removal of the name "Tompkins-McCaw" and all associated mentions and references from the Tompkins-McCaw Library.

BACKGROUND: In 1950, the library was named for five members of the Tompkins and McCaw families. One of the namesakes, Sally Tompkins, operated a hospital in Richmond during the Civil War and received a formal commission in the confederate army. Another namesake, James B. McCaw, served as commandant of the Chimborazo army hospital located at the east end of Broad Street.

View comments - Tompkins-McCaw Library name

W.C. Wickham Monument

RECOMMENDED ACTION: The committee recommends petitioning the city of Richmond to de-commemorate and remove the W.C. Wickham monument in Monroe Park (already in progress by the city).

BACKGROUND: Inside the park there are three monuments to individuals associated with the confederacy. In 1891, the employees of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad erected a statue of Williams Carter Wickham sculpted by Edward Valentine. Wickham served as a confederate general, state senator, and vice-president of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad.

View comments -W.C. Wickham Monument

Wood Memorial Building

RECOMMENDED ACTION: The committee recommends de-commemoration and removal of the name and all associated mentions and references to the Wood Memorial Building.

BACKGROUND: This building is named for Judson B. Wood and his wife. Wood, a Richmond dentist, served as a private in the confederate army. He gave MCV one of its first major gifts that helped fund construction on campus including the Wood building.

View comments - Wood Memorial Building

President’s Committee on Confederate Commemoration

Established August 2017

John Kneebone, Ph.D. - Co-chair
Associate professor (retired)
Chair, Department of History
Virginia Commonwealth University

Hannah M. Cameron - Co-chair
President, Urban and Regional Planning Student Association
Student

Kevin Allison, Ph.D.
Senior executive for special projects, Office of the President
Professor, Psychology
Professor, Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs
Virginia Commonwealth University

Claire Barnewolt
Student

Melanie Buffington, Ph.D.
Associate professor
School of the Arts
Virginia Commonwealth University

Brian Daugherty, Ph.D.
Associate professor
Department of History
Virginia Commonwealth University

Deborah Davis
Chief of Strategic Initiatives
VCU Health

Karah Gunther, J.D., M.H.A.
Executive Director of Government Relations and Health Policy
Virginia Commonwealth University

Jodi Koste
Archivist and Head, TML Special Collections and Archives
VCU Libraries

Pam Lepley
Vice President for University Relations
Virginia Commonwealth University

Larry Little, M.B.A
Vice President, Support Services
VCU Health

Brian Shaw
Assistant to the president
Virginia Commonwealth University

Kathryn Shively, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of History
Virginia Commonwealth University

Jacob Belue, J.D. (Advisor Only)
Associate university counsel
Virginia Commonwealth University

Michael Porter
Associate vice president, Public Affairs
Virginia Commonwealth University

Jewel Peterson-Murray
Student

Shontrice Barnes
Student

Gabriel Syska
Student

Nicole Turner, Ph.D.
Former VCU faculty member
Department of History

Eldon Burton
Former VCU staff member

Ana Edwards
Community Partner

Brandi Summers, Ph.D.
Former VCU faculty member
Department of African American Studies

VCU Committee on Commemoration and Memorials

Established May 2019

Aashir Nasim, Ph.D. - Chair
Vice President, Institutional Equity, Effectiveness and Success
Professor and director, Institute for Inclusion, Inquiry & Innovation
Virginia Commonwealth University

Thomas Briggs
Assistant Vice President, Safety and Risk Management
Virginia Commonwealth University

Melanie Buffington, Ph.D.
Associate professor
School of the Arts
Virginia Commonwealth University

Matt Conrad, J.D.
Executive Director, Government and Board Relations
Virginia Commonwealth University

Jay Davenport, CFRE
Vice President, Development and Alumni Relations
Virginia Commonwealth University

Chelsea Gray
Board Liaison and assistant secretary
Office of the President
Virginia Commonwealth University

Jewlyus Grigsby
Student (Inactive)

Breanna Louise Harmon
Student

Lauryn Hodge
Student (Inactive)

Nancy Jallo, Ph.D., RNC, FNP-BC, WHNP-BC, CNS, FAAN
Associate professor
School of Nursing

Lydia Johnson, MD
Department of Dermatology
VCU Health

Jodi Koste
Archivist and Head, TML Special Collections and Archives
VCU Libraries

Pam Lepley
Vice President for University Relations
Virginia Commonwealth University

Saher Randhawa
Program Manager
Department of Internal Medicine
VCU Health

Kathryn Shively, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of History
Virginia Commonwealth University

Meredith Weiss, Ph.D.
Vice President for Administration
Virginia Commonwealth University

Amanda Nash
Student (Inactive)