University Of Miami To Remove Merrick Name From Structure

The University of Miami announced on Monday, May 3rd, that it would be making several changes following an Executive Committee meeting of the Board of Trustees.

Changes include 1) the naming of the new Student Services Center after “a distinguished Black alumnus/a of the University”, 2) the renaming of the Fillmore Hall at the Frost School of Music, and 3) the removal of the name of Coral Gables and University of Miami founder, George E. Merrick, from the structure on Merrick Drive.

The University decided not to change the name of the Solomon G. Merrick building, which had also been in consideration.

Below is the official notice sent by the University:

Dear Members of the University of Miami Community,

This evening, during a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, we considered a number of issues related to our campuses, including two pending petitions to rename facilities at the University of Miami. We have determined that this is a moment to honor the accomplishments, contributions, and legacies of Black role models in the naming of buildings for the first time in University history, reaffirming our commitment to belonging and justice by recognizing those who overcame racism to enrich our campus, our city, and our world.

Our actions today acknowledge the pain and the promise of our Black students, alumni, colleagues, and neighbors while intentionally choosing to learn from and build on our history. We engaged in serious deliberations about our past, our future, and our ongoing pursuit of racial justice.

During this time of racial reckoning in the United States, the decisions we make must be shaped by our aspiration to be an exemplary institution in the community and nation. That desire compelled us to reevaluate how we can do better to address head-on the hurtful aspects of our past and apply their lessons to our future.

It takes intentional and sustained effort and focus to reckon with and understand the effects of a national history that includes 12 generations of enslavement. We agree with the Historic Review Committee on Naming’s (HRCN) recommendation that we reaffirm and strengthen the University’s commitment to inclusion and recognize the dignity of all persons. Therefore, the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees has made four important decisions:

First, we will name our brand-new Student Services Center building—which is central to our mission and our campus—for a distinguished Black alumnus/a of the University of Miami. In helping to transform the way we provide services to our students, this state-of-the-art building reflects our ambition to lead the educational revolution by providing an education for life that has belonging, equity, and justice at its core. This decision stems from our commitment to honoring ’Canes from all walks of life as the University continues to grow, evolve, and thrive. A small committee of trustees, faculty, and students will be selected to identify an appropriate namesake, which will be announced in the fall with a grand opening and dedication ceremony.

Second, the rehearsal hall at the Frost School of Music will be renamed to honor someone whose accomplishments reflect the values of our University and whose life epitomizes their personal commitment to the University. Henry Fillmore, after whom the hall is currently named, used patently offensive language and images to promote his music. His most prominent work—the success of which led to his renown and likely the naming—was full of racist caricatures that amounted to dehumanizing Black people. He died in 1956, nearly a decade after the federal government took action to end segregation in the United States armed forces. However, in considering whether Fillmore acknowledged the negative aspects of his work, the HRCN concluded he did not. The selection of a new namesake for the rehearsal hall will be undertaken by a committee to be appointed by the Board of Trustees, which will make its recommendation in the coming months. Input for a new name will be solicited from students, faculty, alumni, and other members of the University community.

Third, we will no longer refer to the structure on Merrick Drive by our founder’s name. As the founder of the University, we have much to be thankful for to George E. Merrick, yet we understand that for some members of our community, the name on this garage is a reminder of the harm caused by segregation. Therefore, we will adopt a neutral directional name for that structure on the Coral Gables Campus.

Finally, on each structure involved in these petitions, we will educate the campus community about our imperfect past and our vision for the future. We will establish prominent and widely accessible educational features to be displayed on campus to introduce the history of the current and prior honorees, provide context, and explain the decision to retain or remove a structure’s historic name. These markers will remind us that we can recognize the important contributions individuals have made to our University, while acknowledging that the actions in which they engaged during their lifetimes are not consistent with our views today.

This approach, which embraces our role as a teaching institution, will include the other building and street that were the subject of the second petition, bearing the family name of our founder and one of the most ardent advocates of the University, George Merrick. The Solomon G. Merrick Building is one of the oldest on the Coral Gables Campus. Its naming in honor of George Merrick’s father was consideration for the gift of 160 acres of land and $5 million in financial support that led to the very establishment of the University of Miami. Moreover, we do not believe that individuals should be judged by the shortcomings of their family members. The decision regarding the street named for George Merrick himself goes beyond the purview of the Board of Trustees.

While we recognize that George Merrick’s proposals as chair of the Dade County Planning Board perpetuated a wealth gap for Black residents and broad inequities in our community that persist to this day, his vision and donation made possible the institution that would later become one of the first universities in Florida to desegregate. The fact of that progress underlines that, while George Merrick himself might not have imagined our University in all of its current rich diversity, in the years since his life and death, the institution he helped found has made and continues to make substantial headway towards racial justice and equity, and we are committed to enhancing that pursuit. In addressing renaming petitions, we sought to bring into balance our University’s diverse community and our storied past. We took three key issues into consideration. First, we examined the context in which honorees exhibited behavior that is antithetical to our shared values and hurtful to members of our community. Next, we contemplated the opportunity honorees had to express regret or correct course during their lifetimes. Finally, we considered the balance between how the impact of an honoree’s actions ran counter to or advanced the mission of the University.

Please join us in acknowledging the considerable, thorough work of the HRCN; the guidance and perspective of the board’s Ad Hoc Committee on Diversity and Social Justice; and the impassioned students, faculty, staff, trustees, and community members who made their voices heard through a rigorous review process.

During that process, students have also advocated for a gathering space that facilitates community building and fosters a greater sense of inclusion and belonging. We are delighted to share that the administration has begun planning for an estimated $3 million renovation of nearly 13,000 square feet on the second floor of the University Center to create an expanded multi-cultural space, allowing for informal gatherings and programming for cultural organizations. This flexible space would fulfill desires expressed thus far and could be expanded to meet the needs of a number of student groups on campus. Our newly elected leaders of student organizations and the 2021-22 Student Center Complex Advisory Council will work with the administration to solicit input into the design this summer in the hopes of opening the new multi-faceted cultural space in 18 months’ time.

We are proud of the decisions the Executive Committee made tonight, and we are excited to celebrate the rich and diverse talent and commitment that continue to move the University of Miami forward. We remain hopeful that this inflection point in our ongoing conversation and actions on racial justice will add to the necessary, honest, and productive engagement that ultimately draws us together as Miami Hurricanes.

Hilarie Bass, Esq.
Chair, University of Miami Board of Trustees

Julio Frenk
President, University of Miami
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64 thoughts on “University Of Miami To Remove Merrick Name From Structure

  1. Parents, please stop sending your kids to these Universities who want to erase history and not learn from it.

  2. I can not believe this!! I disagree with the decision. George Merrick is the founder of UM. We should keep his name on.

  3. “History is not there for you to like or dislike. It is there for you to learn from it. And if it offends you, even better. Because then you are less likely to repeat it. It’s not yours to erase. It belongs to all of us.” Author Unknown

    I am so disappointed in UM for taking such a shallow and unscholarly position on the founder of our city. Actually I’m stunned. And I thought they were an institution of “higher” learning.

  4. Outrageous and beyond disgusted, my son was a graduate, proud day…but no longer proud of this ridiculousness! Why can’t we focus on the good that these people did instead of how life was at that time. Definitely different now, thank God, we’ve come a long way, but just erasing the past doesn’t change one thing. By the way, do you have any statues you want torn down, maybe that’s next!

  5. First you turn your back on the City that has supported you 100%. Now you are fined $22 Million for incorrect fraud medical billing. Who is running this disgrace of a school? What has happened to you. From the Board of Trustees to the Administration, we need to start over. Try to find the money you need now when we all say reverse your decision or we close our wallets. Be an honest Institution or we all close our wallets. THEN where are you going to get your money?

  6. “While we recognize that George Merrick’s proposals as chair of the Dade County Planning Board perpetuated a wealth gap for Black residents and broad inequities in our community that persist to this day…” [Excerpt from the May 3rd email signed by UM Board Chair and President].
    Again, it must be emphasized that “Merrick’s proposals” were never implemented and thus the “wealth gap…and broad inequities” premise is rendered mute. However, the University of Miami has unjustly characterized its founder and brought disdain to his life and legacy. If one reads the full text of Merrick’s 1937 speech to the Miami Realty Board [this is the source where the now oft quoted infamous words reside], it is revealed that Merrick’s words were taken out of context. The school, by ignoring the full context of the speech, disregarded a duty of fairness and rigorous analysis. Yes, Merrick’s words [from 1937] were taken out of context solely to fit a specific narrative–that of systemic racism. How shameful that a well-respected academic “research” institution would jeopardize its prestigious reputation in order to embrace an ill-conceived narrative. To read George Merrick’s 1937 speech, please click on the link below and go specifically to page 13 [or page 11 in pamphlet]. https://digitalcollections.library.miami.edu/digital/collection/asc9999/id/13354

  7. Carl Fisher created a segregated neighborhood for his black workers while he built Miami Beach so they wouldn’t have to drive back and forth from Colored Town (Now called Overtown). Like George Merrick at the exact same time (same year), he wrote a letter saying that he was concerned about the deplorable conditions and unsanitary water, and wanted to provide adequate housing for them and their families. However, they were not allowed to step foot onto the beaches or even outside the designated neighborhood unless reporting for work. Should we remove Fisher’s name from Fisher Island? Fisher, like Merrick, created the beautiful places we ALL now enjoy and appreciate. They lived during a time of segregation. The entire country was segregated. They cared about the living conditions of their workers and did something about it. And for that, UM is shaming the man who donated the land for the school and provided the funding to get it started. I do like the idea of renaming a few structures and honoring black students who have achieved great things and educating us about their legacies. Go ahead, rename the parking garage. That sounds like a fair accommodation for the students who raised hell about the column Merrick wrote in which he stated his intent to build a neighborhood for his black workers, as Fisher did, as Flagler did. Prior to these men building housing for their black workers. Do you know where most of them lived? No? Tents. In the wilderness. With no clean water. Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is ignorance. Pick up a book people.

  8. Another unhappy alum after reading this woke article. UM will never see another dime from me. It use to be a great school and now less than mediocre, Shalala did more damage to the community than another President, and Frenk is following that tradition. Please give back the donation to the Fillmore and Merrick estates.

  9. As a history buff, I am always opposed to any rewriting or cancelation of the historic record. However, following the recent Black Live Matter movement, I understand why certain confederate monuments have been removed and various streets and highways have been renamed.

    The statue of Edward Colston, in the English port of Bristol, was recently torn down because he was a slave trader. That is all he is known for. If he had not shipped some 80,000 men, women and children into slavery in the 17th century, nobody would remember him today, and there would be no monument to his memory. That is not a memory worth honoring. The protestors were right to remove it.

    Jefferson Davis, Gen. Robert E. Lee; Gen. Nathan Bedford Forest, Gen John Bell Hood, Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, Stonewall Jackson and ‘Bloody Bill’ Anderson among others, for example, were all confederate leaders who are remembered for one thing only: they lead an insurrection against the United States in defense of slavery. That is their sole claim to fame. If they had not fought to destroy the union and to preserve the institution of slavery, no statues would have been erected, nor highways named to honor and preserve their memory.

    We have statues for Washington and Jefferson who were both slave owners, but that is not why they are honored and revered today. Like all the founding fathers, we honor them because they had the vision and determination to create this nation. We honor them because they transformed a rough colony into the greatest democracy the world has known, despite the fact, not because they owned slaves.

    We forgive and excuse the Founding Father’s attitude to slavery because it was a reflection of society at that time and it is wrong to impose today’s social values on the past. Growing up in the 50s and 60s, my parent’s friends were doctors, lawyers, academics – educated and civilized people; but openly homophobic, racist, anti-Semitic, even misogynistic remarks and attitudes were commonplace. Thankfully that is no longer the case; social standards are in a permanent state of change, hopefully for the better.

    It is hard to read a nineteenth or early twentieth century novel or poem that does not contain attitudes offensive to modern ears. Should we no longer read the poems of T.S. Eliot or the novels of Ernest Hemingway because of their ant-Semitic and homophobic references? Should the statue of Winston Churchill be torn down because of his racist comments?

    The fault of these men was merely a reflection of the zeitgeist, the values of their time and we honor them, not for their faults but for their greatness. Stonewall Jackson and Gen. Nathan Bedford Forest are remembered only for their defense of slavery and for no other reason. Winston Churchill is remembered for his defense of Western Democracy, not for his racist epithets.

    And now there is a movement to remove George Merrick’s name from the University of Miami and his statue from the front of Coral Gables City Hall.

    We honor George Merrick, not because he may have reflected some of the Jim Crow attitudes of his time, but because his vision transformed an empty wilderness into one of the most beautiful cities in America. Merrick donated $5 million and 100 acres to found the University of Miami, but he himself died penniless and childless, with no heirs to carry on his name or preserve his memory. Only the City of Coral Gables. This movement to remove his name from the city and university which would not exist without him, is an outrageous example of ‘woke’ culture becoming a mockery of itself.

    There is not room here to list the many accomplishments of George Merrick nor the many reasons that his name should be revered, not removed. However, I would recommend a Google search for “Letter of Request for Structure Name Preservation by Amanda Rose”, a student at the University of Miami School of Law. It provides a detailed and well researched list of all the ways that George Merrick was not a racist, and his many actions to encourage racial harmony.

    https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/track?uri=urn%3Aaaid%3Ascds%3AUS%3Abcd5e243-430d-4019-9ff1-2ee05bb8a7d5#pageNum=2

    This movement to destroy the memory of George Merrick as a racist, is an insult to the memory of George Floyd and trivializes the brutality of his murder.

  10. Anyone who thinks that segregation was a personal choice 80 years ago is ignorant of history. Segregation was a State law in Florida and anyone breaking the law faced consequences. Very much like how we deal with people wearing a mask!

  11. I am stunned that this inept Board of Woke Trustees would have the audacity to reject the history, albeit imperfect, of George Merrick by removing him from any building or any signage at UM. How dare you! Why don’t you spend your time in Trustee Meetings focused on academic excellence and resources for minority students in our community so they have access to UM, and being a real citizen to for our City Beautiful. Someone spent hours on that woke memo and it is a disservice to your community and your alumni. This is a sad day and not one more donation will be coming from me.

  12. There was a time not too long ago, when our institutions of higher learning were places where diverse ideas, no matter how unpopular or controversial, were allowed to be expressed in an effort to allow for open discourse without the fear of retribution. During that time, the Liberals were the outsiders and mainstream media was for the most part critical of their ideology. Now that the roles have reversed, and the Liberals and mainstream media are on the same page, there is only one voice and one opinion allowed, and anyone that does not agree with them gets silenced, boycotted, targeted, suspended, expelled, and fired. It is shameful and hypocritical that a University that has accepted millions of dollars from alumni and other sources, simply put blinders on and never bothered to ask if any of this money was “tainted”, according to their new standards. This can be said of just about any university in our country.
    It is obviously fair and proper to recognize the accomplishments of African Americans and other minorities that have contributed to the University’s success, but if the real intent was to be inclusive, the names of these individuals should be ADDED to existing names of buildings, instead of using them to REPLACE the existing names, and thereby wiping out the history of individuals that were important and consequential to the success of the University, regardless of their flaws. It is a disturbing and alarming trend permeating our whole society at the current moment.
    The solution to this behavior is very simple, painless and non-violent. Simply, I strongly encourage all donors that are offended by these actions to stop donating money to UM, to stop supporting its athletic activities, to stop buying its merchandise. I know that it must be hard for many alums to do this, but they must accept the fact that their Alma Mater has lost its purpose and its mission. In fact, this may be the way we will have to handle every situation like this one.
    BTW, we just elected a President of The United States who opposed student busing, integration of schools and gay marriages during his political life. Talk about hypocrisy!

  13. Anyone commenting on Merrick as a bad man, who voted for Donna Shalala over the Republican, does not have morals, you have an agenda. Considering that’s most of you who commented as such, it’s hard to take any of you serious.

    And to the one who mentioned Dixie, the South in general has been called that cause of the Mason Dixon line, due to a boundary dispute between the British colonies of Maryland and Pennsylvania/Delaware. Totally mundane and uncontroversial. Do you people even research things before having fake anger about them? Grow up, time to stop throwing temper tantrums over literally everything. Your opinions are not relevant. Until you care about kids being shot by gang members, and hold Democrats who do things that harm whole communities, to task, not just the Republicans who do that, then your opinion holds absolutely no value.

  14. I think the University–which is a fairly conservative institution–is trying to reckon with Merrick’s record as a segregationist. Everyone wasn’t a segregationist 80 years ago, it was a choice and UM needs to stop honoring that choice if it wants to present itself to the world as a modern institution.

  15. It’s too bad Merrick’s architectural vision for U-Miami was never realized. It has one of the ugliest campuses in the country.

  16. I wonder if U-Miami alumni know their diplomas are at risk? I expect that school to close its doors by 2050 when you consider that the trustees are more interested in renaming streets and buildings than academics. This is a strong indicator of “institutional drift” meaning the school has lost its sense of mission and in a death spiral like The Miami Herald. If your are an alum and still donating to this place, you really need to reassess your giving standards.

  17. I don’t agree that renaming buildings is the way to go. New buildings can be named and honor those that deserve to be honored based on today’s framework. Also, Frenk’s boss is Bass, and many on that BOD are racist mega rich white people who enjoy the fruits of the right not the left. The entire “City Beautiful” should be cancelled. There’s only two extremes , white and cuban with their hypocrisies. How about the cubans get over their past. Move on….Fidel is dead.
    Does anyone have any objections to the WaWa going up on Grand and US1? That land was sold to mega developers for about $10. Developers decided to name their LLC after a Bahamian sounding name. What has been happening for ages is still happening. Did anyone know they took out oak trees because they would be in the way of the gas station design? Does anyone car that it’s being built in front of two schools? So many claim to care about their city, but don’t show up for real issues. What about the ex Cuban mayor of Coral Gables and majority Cuban commissioners? Why are so many that have commented on here not found anything wrong with the over population of the city and the gigantic building that they keep putting in? I think everyone needs to get “woke” to 2021.

  18. Renaming history does not change it. The value of history is to learn how to better go forward.

  19. Why not rename the administrative building after one of their mentors? It could be “The Stained Blue Dress” building or the “Epstein Phallic Tower”.

  20. I propose to rename the Village of MERRICK Park as Beyonce’s Lair to keep up with the times.

  21. Perhaps the UM should give back all the donations it has received in the past and start over.

  22. Learning from history and adjusting to it – not dragging on old ideals indefinitely – that is what the university is doing right now. It shows the all-inclusive mentality of a great organization that caters to the new generation. Merrick keeps his place in history and students will learn about him – they just no longer have to walk into buildings that celebrate out-dated values by gracing the structure with the name or an oppressor. That’s all. So simple.

  23. This whole decision can be summarized as “blah, blah, blah…..”, and placed in the “Who cares” category. Naming or renaming buildings does little or zero for the hard-working, lower income Blacks or other minorities in our community.
    Why even put ANYONE’S name on a building – if someone donating $ requires or evens agrees to have his/her name on anything, one may want to question the size of their ego or ask for the real reason, like wanting a tax deduction.
    Adding Alex Rodriguez’ name to Mark light Field was the bigger disgrace – putting the name of a lying performance drug user on our baseball stadium apparently just because he donated lots of $ to its updates sets a bad example for our youth.

  24. Merrick is reported to have urged the relocation of Black United States citizens to Africa. Sounds like a good reason to remove his name. By the way, why won’t Coral Gables agree to renaming Dixie Highway?

  25. It is shameful what is happening to our Country these days, but it is truly shameful what UM president Dr. Julio Frenk, and members of the Board of Trustees, are planning to do with the name of a man, who was ultimately responsible for the creation of the University.

    It is said that a country without history, is a country without a future, and unfortunately that is where we are heading. George E. Merrick, deserves to be eternally recognized for creating the City Beautiful, and his contributions to the existence of UM.

  26. I am an alumnae for both the undergraduate and Ph.D. Programs. My 2 children both hold graduate degrees from UM. I am extremely disappointed at the Board of Trustees decision to try to erase history and dispose of the intent those who made the university possible.
    As a 50 year resident of Coral Gables and a member of a minority I find it reprehensible that you are judging individuals by today’s standard and not by the standard prevailing during their lifetime.
    George Merrick donated a significant portion of the land and money which made it possible to create the University of Miami. As such he should be respected .

    As an political exile due to Comunism and a proud American citizen I am extremely concerned about the current wine culture. It intends to erase history and judge people who were instrumental in creating this nation such as Thomas Jefferson, Feirge Washington, JamesMadison and other signers of the Declaration of Independence by current standard. Slavery was wrong but it was accepted as common at the time,slaves were sold by their own people and historically many societies had slaves of different races and yes white too. They built cities in pre colloquial Mexico, Egyptian pyramids and temples , and Roman and Greek Temples. If we continue in this path we should destroy those too.

    The Board of Trustees should be ashamed of not standing up to the prevalent mob that wants to cancel culture . They are afraid of being cancelled themselves.
    We as a family will refrain from donating money to our Alma Mater until reason prevails.

  27. Hopefully UM will return the land Merrick donated, we can accept a donation from such an “unwoke” person… now that might mean something instead of this shallow, phony crap that comes out of that leftist Frenk. Will donate my money elsewhere from now on…bye UM

  28. The actions of the current UM board of trustees shows complete disrespect for history and the reason they are where they are today. I hate to wish ill will on anyone, but I hope the university loses a LOT of money over this. They are catering to a vocal 1% and betraying the majority of their supporters and members.

  29. Change is a constant. Adjusting to it is inevitable. So, I agree with the decision of the University. (The following blurb is taken from their announcement and sums it up very well: “During this time of racial reckoning in the United States, the decisions we make must be shaped by our aspiration to be an exemplary institution in the community and nation. That desire compelled us to reevaluate how we can do better to address head-on the hurtful aspects of our past and apply their lessons to our future.”)

  30. This is all deflection.

    It’s easier to go after people who have been long dead than to ask what Frenk, Shalala and the board of trustees have done themselves in the last few years. Did Frenk just realize that no buildings were named after black people? Why isn’t this an examination of the last decade and whether decisions made by the presidents and board did ANYTHING to support black students, alumni, faculty and staff.

    Renaming buildings is the easy part. Stupid, but easy.

  31. Hopefully, WE THE PEOPLE, take our money elsewhere. Find a better school to send your kids to. These people are idiots! UM has wasted God knows how much money, energy and time on this crap!

  32. After reading this achingly “woke” statement which only shows a lack of understanding of history and no respect at all for the UM family going back generations, we will no longer support the University of Miami. Various members of our family are alumni. A university that makes decisions based on mob rule doesn’t deserve our support. History is laden with both good and bad characters; ignoring your history and the memory of those who founded your institution shows a complete lack of intelligence and common sense. But then, those are the hallmarks of the “woke” left. Destroying history and forging ahead promoting divisiveness which will never be corrected by ticking off the vast majority of your alumni.

  33. well …I was upset and could not understand this new administration when they abolished the UM WOMEN’S GUILD but now this …doesn’t the new Administration have anything else to do but destroy history!

  34. So grateful for your timely communication. It has saved me a few thousand dollars in estate planning fees. As a successful minority alum, I was leaving a portion of my estate to fund minority scholarships. I will no longer be doing so. I do not condone racism or discrimination. I support the work and sacrifices of those that came before us, however imperfect they were, so that we can learn to be better. We cannot erase history and all the good done by others, we need to learn from it. Spend your time and money helping dedicated students, not renaming buildings. What a waste!

  35. Nearly 80 years after his death, this is the most pressing issue for UM? Disgusting! How can judging a man born in 1886 by the mores of 2021 be anything but the highest form of stupidity and ignorance.
    Please don’t judge me by “the shortcomings” of the university I attended and it’s idiotic Board of Trustees, and do not let this woke mob come for all of George E. Merrick’s many wonderful accomplishments.
    Read about his amazing life as it was judged contemporaneously:
    http://digitalcollections.fiu.edu/tequesta/files/1942/42_1_01.pdf

  36. People should be judged for their thoughts, actions and contributions based on the values of their times, and not of our times. When will the cancellation of past prominent people stop ? Are George Washington or Thomas Jefferson next ? Are we going the path of the Taliban ( destroying historical Buddha statues because they do not fit in their current values ) ?.

  37. HOW INSENSITIVE THAT ON THE 135TH ANNIVERSARY OF MERRICK’S BIRTH, the University of Miami decides to cancel George Edgar Merrick. It is a disservice to the man whose actions are contrary to the narrative being espoused. History cannot be explained using a modern yardstick. Yes, in 1936 the laws of the land were antiquated and illegal by today’s standards. But that is the point. George Merrick was a man of his time, and during his lifetime, he advocated for those he admired [whether black or white] to the best of his ability within the norms of society at that time. Apart from the Macfarlane District, Merrick also developed Golden Gate for the Black community. He donated land and his own money to build several Mediterranean-style buildings designed by his team of architects including the Ponce de Leon High School. When Nellie Powers, a Black woman, decided to open a private school to better educate Black children, Merrick donated to the cause, along with a biracial board, who were all impressed by Ms. Powers. Up until that point according to the late Arva Parks, “Miami had never seen such an inter-racial effort”. And there are other examples of his generosity and humanism.
    When examining history, one must accept the whole story, not pick and choose. One must balance history, not carve it or cancel it. Taking one quote and using it to describe a man’s whole life is unfair. In my opinion, the past should be discussed within a measured and relevant historical context. George Merrick was not perfect, no one is. However, he did much good for the Black community considering the times in which he lived. Let’s balance the narrative.
    The University of Miami solely exists because of George E. Merrick. He not only donated the land but also committed to a $5 million personal donation. Others pledged but only Merrick made good on his promise. George Merrick served as Regent and Trustee of the University from its beginning to the time of his death in 1942. If the point is to disassociate the school with the Merrick name, then it must disassociate itself completely with Merrick. No name. No school. The University of Miami must rightfully honor their founder George E. Merrick or return the land and his gift [with 100 years of accrued interest] to the City of Coral Gables. One cannot be a “judas” and survive.

  38. It is appealing to see seemingly educated people be so blinded by Cultural Marxism and change the names which, for all their faults, were contributors to the success of the university.
    “Let he who is free of sin cast the first stone”
    To judge people by one dimension is dishonest and very divisive. Just read the previous comments and digest them.
    I have never met any student or faculty member who found the name of Merrick offensive.
    You are way off the tracks, but you are not alone.
    These actions will have grave consequences for the Institution.

  39. LB
    I am very disappointed and frustrated with this decision. It seems that you are punishing some of the great people who contribute in making UM an excellent institution. For me it is a “black day ” in the history of UM.

  40. Wow ! I know what school my daughter will not be attending. Not the woke U.

  41. I said things couldn’t get worse with The U when Shalala was there. Then Frenk comes along and says “hold my beer.” He’s truly been a disgrace.

    At least the University is now wholly on board with getting rid of any ordinances limiting building heights, usage, traffic, and other zoning limitations. They certainly cannot continue to support the vision of Coral Gables as founded by Merrick for to do so would be to continue to perpetuate a wealth gap for Black residents and broad inequities, blah, blah, blah.

    No one more red cent in donations.

  42. Absolutely ridiculous to remove Merrick’s name. If it wasn’t for him Coral Gables wouldn’t have a university on that site. I believe George Merrick was extremely supportive to our black Bahamian community. The segregation of colored people was considered the norm in the past and although it is a disgrace for America it should not be blamed on just one man. George Merrick was not racist and should be recognized and honoured as the Founder of UM & friend to the Bahamians. For his legacy to be dismissed because a group of people think it is racial discrimination & “the trend of the 20’s” is utter nonsense.

  43. No surprise here that the liberal woke board of directors bent under the pressure of the Cancel Culture crowd. I suppose in order to keep charging the outrageous tuition, UM has to pander to the left. UM used to be a prestigious institution. Not any longer. UM is as bland as the rest of today’s university system nationwide.
    I think a good rule would be that if you fund a building and your name is removed, then all monies should be refunded, plus interest! I don’t think the ghost of Mr. Merrick will rest easy.

  44. Cancel culture strikes home. Removing Merrick’s name from anything in connection with Coral Gables is a travesty. UM should be ashamed of its leadership. “Draw us together as ‘Canes’? As an alum you can count me out. Make sure all of the entering freshman get a copy of Orwell’s 1984. You are there.
    I urge all fellow alumnus to delete UM from your estate plan until at least Frenk and Bass are gone and Merrick and Fillmore are restored. UM is welcome to name any new structures including the new lakeside student housing after a distinguished black alum. No problem. Create space for all ‘Canes.

  45. With all the building that goes on at that campus and all UM campuses that a new building could be named.
    What hypocrisy.
    Worked for UM for 38 years. In the beginning it was a great place to work. It started to go down with Shalala and is getting more unfriendly to professors, staff and employees

  46. Revisionist history strikes again. This is a dangerous trend we’re on and institutions of higher learning are sadly leading the charge. I’m black and I’m offended by these actions by UM.

  47. I guess Alex Rodriguez’s check to the U was much bigger than George Merrick’s contribution. Congratulations UM, once again you prove why I, as an alumni, refuse to donate to anything associated with you, or participate in any of your causes.

  48. Disappointed at UM. Literally the wokeness Board of Directions is falling for the tactics of our liberal society. What a shame! They forget about their history. Since there is always construction why not name a new building?! This is ridiculous.

  49. Wouldn’t it be better to use the monies that are going to be expended to rename all of these structures and re-do campus signage and maps to fund minority scholarships?

  50. While you are at it please remove that performance drug using Alex Rodriguez name off the baseball field. He is no role model for our youth.

  51. I assume that since the Fillmore Hall will no longer bear the name of the man responsible for its existence you will refund the money in today’s dollars that he gave to erect the building. . .
    I grew up with your school and was at the time very proud to call it a large part of my life.
    However, in light of your lack of ability to see beyond the “woke” situation we are having inflicted on our country this day I feel I will need to remove the University of Miami from my CV.
    It hurts but you have moved what I consider a totally uncalled for and bad move for which we all will have hung around our necks until a succeeding board can correct your error.

  52. I disagree with the decision . The greatest threat that we face in society is the belief that replacing one history with another will solve our societal problem of the day. This action an example of pure Cancel Culture which we allow to continue will eventually cancel all of us out ; “ The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” This pace we are half way their .

  53. Since we are in a spirit of self reflection and guilt, we should give back all the land of Miami to the Tequesta Native Americans, from whom it was stolen.

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