Category: InStall History

Drunk, Agressive, and Loud… but they wanted him to stay

 

After Bob Huggins’ experience with misbehaving players, run-ins with the police and aggressive attitude, there were still a lot of people who wanted him to stay on the coaching staff. Many thought the president at the time, Nancy Zimpher, handled the situation poorly. 

In August 2005, Zimpher gave Huggins 24 hour to decide whether to resign or get fired. Students, faculty, and UC basketball fans argued 24 hours wasn’t enough time. Others liked the basketball success Huggins brought to the program. He had students and alumni wanting to go to the games. Some alumni donated to the program, just because of Huggins.

Handmade posters displayed on front of Clifton bar Uncle Woody’s showing the owners disdain over the firing of Bob Huggins. The News Record, 2005

Zimpher made her decision based an initiative she began called UC|21. It’s purpose was to set a higher bar to follow throughout the school. In a press conference in September of 2005, Zimpher said she made “no apologies for setting high standards.” She was happy with the decision she made, however, some students think she abused the power of her new initiative.

Lucion Dobbs, a first year student during the time of Huggins’ firing, was quoted in The News Record expressing his disapproval of her decision. “UC|21 is supposed to be how to better everyone, and [the manner in which Huggins was fired] was kind of unprofessional,” he said.

Brad Gabbard, a graduate student during the time of Huggins’ firing, was reported by The News Record with a similar response: “The problem was how it was handled.” Gabbard would’ve liked the situation to have been handled in a more professional way.

After the firing, there was speculation about whether donors will continue to give their money to UC. Zimpher and the board had reportedly received phone calls from those threatening to cut their donations.

UC alumnus Michael Meehan, who had been to every basketball game for 20 years, stated “Nancy Zimpher basically doesn’t care about athletics or the money it brings in.” It was obvious she had lost the support of UC basketball loyalists.

Former UC coach Bob Huggins is now in his 13th season at West Virginia. Photo from West Virginia Athletics.

Attendance at games dropped off significantly after Huggins was fired. In 2004 under Huggins, the average attendance was 12,805 per game, which ranked 24th in the country. In 2006, the average attendance dropped to 9,300, which ranked 53rd in the country. 

After Huggins left Cincinnati, he took one season off from coaching, Kansas state hired him as their head coach. After one season with the Wildcats, he accepted the head coaching gig at his alma mater, West Virginia. In just his third season, he led the Mountaineers to a Final Four appearance in his third season. 

From 2008 to 2011 under Huggins, West Virginia’s basketball program had a 90 percent graduation rate.

Huggins is in his 13th season at West Virginia, where he’s won nearly 65 percent of his games (271-151). From 1995 to 2007, West Virginia only had seven winning seasons. Huggins has 10 winning seasons in his 12 years.

The Gay 90’s

 

 A newspaper title that says The Gay '90s

Clifton Magazine. 1993

In the 1990s, LGBTQ students at UC faced many problems. The AIDs crisis, then a growing issue in the US, affected many Cincinnatians and University of Cincinnati students. But Cincinnati was a conservative city, and LGBTQ students remarked that the campus was far less accepting than they had hoped.

Two similar photos of two young women with their arms around each other. One has long blonde hair, and the other short hair

Karla and Anne, two lesbian students at UC that reported harassment based on their sexual orientation

Queer students expected violence from other students. Two girls in particular, students named Karla and Anne, recounted their experiences to Clifton Magazine in 1991: “We haven’t been physically attacked yet, but we have experienced some harassment.” Anne stated that at a war protest, counter-protesters chanted that the majority gay crowd should be bombed to “cure AIDs” and that all the “f*ggots” on campus should go home.

Other incidents, also reported in Clifton Magazine, occurred often throughout the ’90s at UC. Some students put up posters with an image of two monkeys “copulating” surrounded by anti-gay slurs. Anti-gay telephone calls were made each year to the UC Alliance of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual People, including one caller that said, “kill all gays and lesbians.” Worried about violence, LGBTQ students dropped out of student groups and isolated themselves. Some students even skipped class for “weeks” out of fear that their classmates would hurt them if their sexuality was discovered.

LGBTQ groups on campus existed, but many students feared attending because meetings sometimes drew violence. A researcher with the FBI, Jack McDevitt, stated that, “… kids out for a thrill will go looking for blacks. If [they find] none, then they will go for gays. And they know where to find them. They go to bars or gay associations. These attacks … are incredibly violent.” LGBTQ students also faced high risks of suicide on campus, but students stated that campus officials refused to acknowledge the issue.

Two men holding hands in front of a blackboard. The board has a table that is showing incoming results for issue 3

Two men hold hands while they wait for the polling results come in for issue 3

A red and white sticker with black text. The text reads "Vote No Never Again On Issue 3"

A sticker passed out by anti-issue 3 advocates and created by Equality Cincinnati, an LGBT organization

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not only were LGBTQ people in Cincinnati facing violence, but little was being done to help. In the early 1990s, Cincinnati suggested a resolution, Issue 3, that would prohibit the enactment of any law that specifically protected the rights of lesbians and gay men. In summary, the law said LGBTQ people didn’t count as a protected group. 

Two sides debated and protested this issue. The pro-Issue 3 group consisted of groups including many Christian organizations. Mark McNiel, an advocate of Issue 3, held the common belief that homosexuality was an illness and a sin, not something that deserved to be protected by the law. While Christian people made up the majority of anti-gay advocates, some Cincinnati religious figures condemned those that held prejudice toward LGBTQ people. One minister, Peter J. Gomes, argued strict interpretations of the bible and religious fundamentalism caused people to wrongfully hate gays and lesbians. “To maintain itself, fundamentalism must always label the other and a deviant.

The other side of the debate consisted of LGBTQ people and allies, both on campus and throughout Cincinnati, that believed in protections for LGBTQ people. Anti-Issue 3 advocates stated the high rates of violence, suicide, and poverty among LGBTQ populations when justifying protections.

In 1993, Issue 3 passed with 62% support for Cincinnati voters. The law is still in place today. While LGBTQ activists could not stop the passage of Issue 3, the University passed its own nondiscrimination waver that “reaffirms the policy that discrimination based on … sexual orientation … will not be practiced.”

The ‘90s marked a difficult time for LGBTQ people in Cincinnati. Students expected harassment and violence and isolated themselves. As a result, isolation contributed to the high rates of suicide among LGBTQ students. The introduction of Issue 3 was a blow to many LGBTQ activists in Cincinnati, who faced constant discrimination but were unable to gain protection. 

Thanks to activists that faced the violence and hatred from the community in order to change things, students on campus today can expect to be protected from violent acts based on their identity. New initiatives by the University like the LGBTQ faculty and staff association, the LGBT center, the office of Equity and Inclusion, and a relatively new way for students to affect inclusion on campus, the Student Diversity and Inclusion Council. Cincinnati has come a long way since the violence and oppression of the 90s, and LGBTQ students continue to push for more representation and support on campus.

An Engineer’s Dream Gone Wrong: Crosley Tower

   The Crosley tower began as an architectural marvel created for the purpose of breaking the world record for the tallest single-pour concrete structure in the world. Set apart from the rest of the Neo-Georgian architecture found on campus, the tower is often described by the students of Cincinnati as “ugly” and “impractical.” Over the years, this once popular tower has become a source of social debates, worrying rumors, and expensive plans for demolition.

Original Geographic Blueprints of the early 1963 plans, depicting the area of University of Cincinnati campus that is now occupied by Crosley Tower.

“The Crosley building was designed in 1965, replacing the above 1963 design then took over four years to complete, becoming the biggest single-pour concrete structure. The current record holder is the Lakhta Center Tower in Russia.” Photo courtesy of the University of Cincinnati Archive

   Benjamin Franklin famously once said, “but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Clearly, he forgot the other certainty that people need to go to the bathroom at some point. Many who would visit Crosley Tower would note the odd placement of these essential rooms, and often it is hypothesised that the original plans forgot to include the restrooms till the last minute, and the builders had to do a quick fix in order to add the porcelain thrones.

    In reality, the situation was not a costly, yet honest, mistake of improper planning, but a deliberate decision to support a skewed gender bias. Engineering has had a long running stigma of being a male-only occupation. During the design of the tower, the floor planners set aside only 6 of the planned 16 restrooms for females, with the other 10 being dedicated to male students. The restroom situation was left like this for a few years, agitating many female students. Later this issue was brought to the attention of the Office of University Commitment to Human Resources (OUCHR). The OUCHR mandated that both genders needed an equal amount of restrooms. While they got to work on the permanent solution of adding in new female delegated bathrooms, the temporary solution was simply to change the signs on the pre-existing restrooms. However, this caused confusion among the students due to the fact that they didn’t know where the new restrooms were located. In fact, some students felt slighted by the mandate and decided to steal the restroom signs, causing issues where males walked in on females and vice versa. While this was no doubt an awkward situation, many times the students did not care and simply go about their business. Despite solving the unequal bathrooms problem, it did not solve the fact that even though Crosley Tower was constructed to reach new heights for the university and the city, it has been treated more as an embarrassment in recent times. [1]

A model depicting the interior archetecture of Crosley Tower. THe building follows the basic shape of two tall shafts, meant for bathrooms and stairs, surrounding many floors in between.

“Many different rumors of Crosley tower have emerged over the years, including radioactive ooze and no bathrooms.” Photo courtesy of Ganesh Raman Portfolio

   Most people would describe Crosley Tower as an eye-sore. The overall student perception of the building is what people describe as “soulless” and flat view. The buildings poor design is even more unappealing due to its neighboring buildings of DAAP, which has a more vibrant modern look, and Rieveschl, which has a simple and classic look. The tower itself is problematic, from it’s architectural style to even the materials used in it’s construction. Due to public opinion and outcry, the building has been planned for demolition since the early 2000s. One may notice that despite these plans being around for over 10 years, the building is still there. This is in large part due to the tower being made out of concrete. This means that the building cannot be imploded in fear of causing massive surrounding damage. The remaining option is to breakdown the building by using jackhammers from top to bottom due to its strength, but this is costly and dangerous to both the workers breaking the building down and the surrounding area. 

   No one can deny that Crosley Tower is iconic. Anyone approaching University of Cincinnati’s campus can instantly point out the grand tower, and has been a part of the UC skyline for over four decades. It has rumors and urban legends surrounding it, and is an interesting piece of Cincinnati history. However, times and opinions of the tower have changed, and many people have been calling for its removal for nearly a decade. Sadly, with the complications that would arise from removing the tower in both safety and cost, the Engineer’s dream turned nightmare may stay around for years to come.

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Endnotes

[1] Brookbank, Sarah. “Crosley Tower Will Be Demolished … Eventually.” Cincinnati.com. 

Cincinnati Enquirer, October 26, 2018. https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2018/10/26/crosley-tower-demolished-eventually/1759807002/.

[2] Vincent, Dan. “Women to Receive Equal·Restroom Space.” University of Cincinnati News 

Record, April 27, 1976, Vol. LXIII edition, sec. no. 43.

The “Race” to Inclusion on Campus

By: Teresa Szczecinski, Logan Miller, McKayla Krause, Benjamin Kilgallon

Many don’t know that back in the 1930s-40s, UC had a civil rights movement of their own that predates the revolutionary movement that shaped the country. We’re here to tell that story through Marian Spencer, Donald Spencer, Willard Stargel’s courageous efforts to make the campus a more equal place for everyone. 

Marian Spencer was one person who “led significant and successful efforts toward campus integration, inclusion and the drive for equality” during her time at the University of Cincinnati in the late 1930s. She put all her efforts into ensuring no student of color was barred from an activity, group, or program at the school. Her large part in activism on campus came with her helping found the Quadres Society alongside Donald Spencer, her future husband. However, despite her relentless efforts to strive for equality on campus, Spencer was not allowed to live in a dormitory during her time at UC. At the time, this was a standard type of segregation within universities. However, recent years have brought greater understanding of history’s mistakes and greater civil change. Societal change and realization, among Spencer’s remarkable civil rights leadership at UC and in the City of Cincinnati, greatly influenced the UC Board of Trustees in 2017 to name the newest residence hall after her. Marian Spencer’s name is now permanently etched on UC’s campus. As she was once barred from residency, this building is symbolic of change in society and is a constant reminder of her courageous and extraordinary efforts to make the University of Cincinnati equal for all.

Marian Spencer Hall on UC campus

The hall on UC’s campus named after Marian Spencer

 

Since the University of Cincinnati opened until the 1940s African American students weren’t allowed to be a part of Greek life, join extracurriculars, or many other political or social activities on campus this didn’t stop them from eventually starting their own society: the Quadres Society. The Quadres society was founded by Donald Spencer, Marian’s husband, in 1935. The Quadres has been referred to as “one of the three most important improvements on campus,” (Cincinnati News Record)  The society was a way for African American students to finally include themselves by making their own space and were quickly making strides on campus. These accomplishments are noticed in the Cincinnati news letter by Seaton Ralls stating, “Within one more term one could venture to say that the Negro has done more and gone farther into campus activities than they have in the last decade” (Cincinnati News Record). Once the Quadres was up and running, members didn’t  stop at musicals and extracurriculars, they wanted more. In 1942 the “Quadres also attempted to integrate the all-white student council by putting Willard Stargel, a popular basketball and football player, on the ballot in 1942.” On top of founding the Quadres Society, Donald also started the first fraternity to include African Americans in 1939 called Kappa Alpha Psi. These are all strides that Donald and the Quadres made in order to make UC a more inclusive environment for people of color.

picture of the officers of the Quadres theatre group that marian spencer was the president of

The officers of the Quadres, featuring president: Marian Spencer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In December of the 1946-1947 school year football season, African American student Willard Stargel was a star tight- end that was forced to sit out out two games against southern universities due to fear of harassment. The student-alumni committee members reported overwhelming support from the student body on a petition to make sure players like Stargel were able to play and not discriminated against. The petition made two points, the first pleaing for contracts with southern universities there should be a clause preventing discrimination. The second point was to play more games against northern universities that honor the same no- tolerance discrimination policy. The article from the news record showed absolute disgust for the treatment of Stargel where he felt so threatened that he would sit out games in efforts to avoid violence against him. The petition was successful and given to the Board of Directors in order to communicate the school’s feelings on these games. This shows major strides towards ending discrimination on UC’s campus in the 40s.

University of Cincinnati News Record from December 5, 1946 when students announced petition against discrimination in football

At the bottom of the page is the article about the Student Alumni Council starting a petition against playing football teams that discriminate against black player.

Willard Stargel football picture

Stargel in his football uniform

From Final Four Appearance to Forced Resignation: The Downfall of Bob Huggins

UC coach Bob Huggins pictured with his father Charlie in 1992. 

Bob Huggins, left, with his father Charlie Huggins. Bob Huggins coached Cincinnati from 1989 to 2005. He led UC to a Final Four in 1992, his third season at Cincinnati. Photo provided by West Virginia Athletics.

August 23rd 2005: the day that changed the trajectory of University of Cincinnati basketball. UC president Nancy Zimpher gave men’s basketball coach, Bob Huggins an ultimatum — resign or get fired. Huggins chose the former.  

Bob Huggins coached the University of Cincinnati’s basketball team from 1989 to 2005. He came to UC at a time the basketball team was failing. He used his recruiting and coaching skills to turn the program around. Huggins created a record of 399-127 during his time at UC, the best record UC basketball has ever seen. Huggins brought the Bearcats to 14 consecutive NCAA appearances and even a Final Four appearance in 1992. In the 2001-2002 basketball season, ESPN named him national coach of the year. 

On June 8th 2004, Huggins was arrested for DUI.  When he was stopped, Fairfax officers said Huggins had slurred speech and that he “staggered” out of the car. According to the report when asked to count backwards from 67 to 54, Huggins instead counted down from 62 to 52. The 2004 season would be Huggins last before Zimpher laid the hammer down on him just over a year later.

It wasn’t just about Huggins’ issues off the floor that led to his demise — some of his players also had their problems off the floor. 

An irate Bob Huggins during March Madness in 1999

As highlighted by Pat Forde in a 2005 ESPN article, Former UC players under Huggins Dontonio Wingfield, Donald Little, Shawn Myrick and Art Long all had run-ins with the law.

Little, who played at UC from 1998-2002, assaulted his roommate, which included Little burning him with a cigarette. Long, a key member of the 1995 team that made an Elite Eight, infamously punched a police horse. Wingfield served jail time for assaulting police officers who were responding to a call that he was allegedly beating his girlfriend. 

Not many UC’s players under Huggins were graduating either. Through one four year stretch, UC had zero players graduate. In the 16 years Huggins was in charge of the basketball team, only 27 of his 95 players graduated from UC. 

That didn’t sit well with Nancy Zimpher. When Zimpher became UC’s president, she was adamant about making academics a priority, resulting in the decision to reform the UC basketball program.

“I understand that there is often pressure to recruit people who have certain skills and not the academic skills,” Zimpher said. “We’re trying as an institution to to educate the whole person, so we want a more well-rounded student who knows why he’s coming to college and is willing to work hard.”

Zimpher’s decision sparked a national debate, with major news outlets such as ESPN, NBC, and Fox all covering the story.

Ian O’Connor of Fox Sports stated “what a better place major college athletics would be if more campus leaders had Zimpher’s fortitude and nerve,” showing his support and respect for Zimpher’s decision.

The newly promoted President of UC seemed to have the support of most, but some were still on the side of the troublesome coach. 

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An Engineer’s Dream: Crosley Tower

There is no other building on the University of Cincinnati’s campus that is as recognizable as the 16 story, single poured concrete glorified pillar known as Crosley tower. Crosley tower was named after Powel Crosley Jr thanks to a combination of his status, active role in the community and large donations to the University of Cincinnati. Crosley tower was part of what was originally known as the Renton K. Brodie Science and Engineering Complex, and later the Library Square. Crosely tower sat at the heart of what became the latest epicenter of academic sciences at the University of Cincinnati. Erected in 1969 — although the University’s archives revealed that plans began as early as 1963 — the tower became the tallest tower on campus, and most of all, the world’s largest single pour concrete structure. Brutalist and authoritarian defined the slick concrete tower with minimal windows and imposing overhangs. This architectural marvel has been a topic of 

discussion since the day its doors opened to the student body. 

  In the original 1963 master plans, all of the buildings of the Brodie Complex followed the International style, a style that was popular in the United States after WWII. Instead of the decedent and rowdy Art Deco of the 20s and the brutalish and authoritative style of the 30s, the International style was restrained, cold and emotionless with buildings being mere glass boxes with no hint of personality or individuality. As a result of following the International style, the Brodie complex in the 1963 plans looked like cookie-cutter business buildings seen in stock 90’s photos. Years later, the Crosley Tower engineers revamped the complex’s whole design and opted for the current iconic look that lived on 50 years later. The engineers’ reasoning was in part to breath personality into the otherwise boring complex. Additionally, other aspects of material and physical construction lead to the decision to rely primarily on concrete. Concrete could be formed in many different shapes, with brick having to be laid by hand creating a plethora of building restrictions and expensive manual labor costs. Brick also would not be able to support the weight of the structure, nor could it support the towering overhang like the solid unmoving stability of concrete. By standing out from the neo-Georgian buildings that littered the University of Cincinnati campus, the Crosley tower would eventually establish itself as the defacto engineering wing of the campus.

Despite the popping authoritarian style that made the Brodie Complex stand apart from every other neo-Georgian UC buildings, as well as the record breaking height of the tower, the crushing weight of controversy piled on its concrete roof over the years until the very building sunk into the ground. Now, construction crews plan on demolishing the imposing tower that stood tall for half a century. 

 

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Out and About; Gays at UC

Support for Gay rights on campus has improved throughout the years, and as recently as 2015 UC made major changes to better the lives of LGBT students on campus. The Audre Lorde housing committee created housing for students who “identify as transgender, genderqueer or who do not feel represented within the gender binary.” The University made not only a place to live, but a community for people who wish to be immersed in social justice. It’s great to see changes like this at UC, but Audre Lorde, an important figure in the struggle for LGBTQ rights at UC and throughout Cincinnati, is an important reminder of the Cincinnati’s fraught LGBTQ history.

LGBTQ rights at UC and within the Cincinnati area in the 70s were a hot topic. LGBTQ people were becoming more visible thanks to the progressive atmosphere of the 70s, and many organizations were founded in Cincinnati and at UC itself that helped advance the cause of gay rights.

1973 was a good year for gay rights on campus. For the first time, UC’s senate approved the formation of gay groups at UC. The UC Gay Association could finally use campus facilities, sponsor university events, fund raise, and invite speakers from on or off-campus. The senate, made up of UC students, reflected attitudes of acceptance among UC students. However, members of the senate noted that by passing the bill students were “[risking] the wrath of the Board of Directors.” An article in The News Record titled “Gay group recognized” states that “In an issue such as homosexuality, no matter how distasteful some persons may find it, it is unreasonable to try to cover up its existence. … it should not be interfered with.” While faculty members held negative opinions about gay rights on campus, the student body held indifferent or even wholly positive opinions toward their LGBTQ peers. 

News Record from 1973, detailing discussions on the acceptance of gay clubs on campus.

News Record Articles from 1973 in which the UC Student Senate passed a bill to allow  LGBTQ organizations on campus.

A black and white photo of a middle aged woman with short hair. She is Bobbie Sterne the former major of Cincinnati.

Portrait of Bobbie Sterne who was the first female full-term mayor of Cincinnati and signed a proposition declaring a “Lesbian/Gay Pride Day” in 1979. She served two terms in office: 1975–1976 and 1978–1979.

In 1973, Cincinnati had its first pride parade. The event, although much smaller than modern pride parades, was nonetheless an important to Cincinnati’s history as it marked the first large-scale organization of LGBTQ individuals in the city. Thanks to the Cincinnati Gay Community––or CGC––advertising in the UC newspaper, many UC students attended the march. After this first march, the parade and its members disbanded until the Greater Cincinnati Gay Coalition brought it back for the 10th anniversary of stonewall in 1979.”Cincy Pride has been held every year since 1979. In the same year, Bobbie Sterne, the first full-term female Cincinnati mayor, signed a proposition declaring “Lesbian/Gay Pride Day.”

The ’70s offered a period of growth for LGBTQ people and organizations in Cincinnati. Thanks to pioneers of the movement who pushed for recognition early on, LGBTQ students at UC can now enjoy the same rights as other students. However, advancement of civil rights is not a linear path, and the 1990s marked another period of conflict––and growth––for UC students.

This post was created by: Emily, Francesca, Madison, Sachiko, and Emma.

Who is Charles McMicken?: And Why Should You Care?

Picture of an illustration of the lions outside of McMicken Hall with the text "Charles McMicken's legacy of slavery" written in the middle of the door opening.

Picture thanks to WCPO, published on their website December 15th, 2018.

By: McKayla Krause, Teresa Szczecinski, Logan Miller, Benjamin Kilagallon.

Picture of Charles McMicken: An older man with a white collared shirt on and a black blazer with a creme background.

Picture of Charles McMicken thanks to Cincinnati Magazine, published on their website February 10th, 2017.

The name McMicken is plastered in many areas of the University of Cincinnati, but the use of his name is highly controversial. Charles McMicken was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania and first arrived in Cincinnati in 1803, where he worked as a general merchandise clerk. This prompted his work as a businessman, and he went on to travel the midwest and southern United States, including Cincinnati, Louisiana, Philadelphia, Texas, and Illinois, building a mercantile and investment trade in flour, cotton, sugar, indigo and real estate. His presence in real estate was particularly controversial, being described by his former business partner, James Ficklin, as “convoluted and suspect”. When you look at McMicken’s footprints in the real estate business, you see a multitude of shifty business transactions that ultimately led to lawsuits in order to resolve the discrepancies

Included in these shifty transactions are McMicken’s tendency to use slaves as currency for trades and purchases, but McMicken didn’t just use his slaves for currency. There is also evidence to show that he raped his slaves and forced children upon them, Charles McMicken, founder of the University of Cincinnati, had a son through one of his Louisiana slaves. It is less known that McMicken also had at least one other child, a daughter, also born to an enslaved mother. To some, the knowledge of McMicken’s cruel business affairs in real estate and his involvement in the slave trade may be enough to shape him as a grisly businessman who would do anything he could for money. But regardless of how you view him, it can be said that the bulk of Charles McMicken’s legacy and money were made out of his peculiar, yet cruel, affairs.

Picture of the front of Charles McMickens Will: a green cover with white words.

A picture of the front of the Will of Charles McMicken. The picture is thanks to Amazon, where his Will can still be bought today.

Despite the controversy surrounding his life, the more well known controversy surrounds his death. In his will, probated in 1858,Charles McMicken declared that, since he donated one million dollars worth of land in the 1800s to help develop the University of Cincinnati that it would be used exclusively “for the education of white boys and girls,” which led to the University to later face legal trouble with McMicken’s benefactors after his death when further movements were made to allow students of color to attend. The family of Charles McMicken claimed a breach of will which stated: “Excluded all persons of the African race, and all other races other than the white race, from the benefits and privileges of his said devices for such college purposes.”  Which is ironic considering that there are two known children of McMicken, John and Adeline, that he had with his slaves and allowed them to receive an education. The case was eventually dropped however, not because of the illegality, hypocrisy, or immorality of segregating the public university, but because of a technicality that left McMicken’s will with no living executor to enforce it: “They further say that there are now no executors of said last will of said Charles McMicken, all of whom are dead, and no one has been appointed or is acting in their stead.”            

On January 4th, 2017 the UC student government voted to remove McMicken’s name from the College of Arts and Sciences, which was the first step in establishing a committee to study Mcmicken’s legacy.While it doesn’t appear that the committee is finished on what the commission is currently doing to work towards solving this problem, the school has publicly announced that they have begun researching McMicken. Neville Pinto, the president of the university, released a statement saying nothing more than the fact that they have dedicated staff members to determine whether or not a name change was the right thing to do. On the University’s website there is a page dedicated to the “Commission To Study McMicken” where it provides a description of the co-chairs, their qualifications, and all the other members. They also have a page dedicated to the background on McMicken to inform the people who are unaware of the controversy surrounding Charles McMicken. While there is clear opposition to keeping his name associated with the Arts and Sciences college, the argument in favor of keeping the name is that McMicken is still part of UC’s history. Opinions vary from students saying that his legacy is something they do not want to be associated with, to indifference because without his donation the university would not be the same.

Do you have an opinion on these matters? Let the university know at the following link: https://staging9.uc.edu/mcmicken-commission/input.html

 

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