Clemson trustees say Tillman Hall’s name won’t be changed

Clemson’s Tillman Hall is shown in this 2008 photo by Flickr user, Angie Yates.

GREENVILLE, S.C. — The chairman of Clemson University’s Board of Trustees says the school will not remove the name of former South Carolina governor and white supremacist Benjamin Tillman from a campus building.

Chairman David Wilkins released a statement Wednesday, a day after Clemson University’s faculty senate voted that Tillman should not hold a place of honor on the campus and his name should be removed.

Wilkins says Tillman’s legacy of white supremacy may have been ugly, but it is part of the institution’s history. Tillman was vital in the founding of Clemson.

Wilkins says Clemson is committed to concrete steps like increasing the number of minority students and other diversity initiatives instead of the symbolic move of removing Tillman’s name.