Hollins Reconciliation: Campus Spaces

Moody courtyard


A Letter from Hollins Reconciliation: Campus Spaces Task Force

Dear Hollins community,

During the Spring 2021 semester, multiple listening sessions led by the Working Group on Slavery and Its Contemporary Legacies were held on the topic of reconsidering names of campus spaces. This task force represents the next step, as announced by President Mary Dana Hinton in April and further outlined in the Report on Listening Sessions. The Reconciliation: Campus Spaces Task Force was appointed by President Hinton in September 2021 and is made up of students, staff, faculty, and alumnae/i.

The task force has two charges:

  • Work from established best practices to determine criteria for evaluating existing campus space names;
  • Apply those criteria to make a recommendation regarding Tayloe Gymnasium to the Hollins Board of Trustees and to President Hinton.

President Hinton’s 2020 report described “a significant sense of urgency” around the issue of certain building names, most prominently Tayloe Gymnasium. That same urgency was expressed in the Working Group’s listening sessions. The goal of this task force is to respond to this need by following a process which is thoughtful, educational, and transparent to the community.

The task force has begun considering similar processes at other colleges and universities; once we have done the work of using these examples to generate a recommendation of mission-specific criteria for Hollins we will consult with, and provide information to, the community. Work is also being done to research the legacy of George P. Tayloe, after whom the gymnasium is named.

The task force is not charged with determining new naming possibilities for the Tayloe Gymnasium, should the outcome of this process result in a determination to do so. Should the recommendation be made to rename the building, then there will be an opportunity for the community to be heard and engage in the process.

We hope to have an update for the Hollins community in January 2022.

The members of the task force welcome your thoughts on this process, and you can reach the committee at reconciliation@hollins.edu.


The Reconciliation: Campus Spaces Task Force

Reconciliation: Campus Spaces Task Force Members

Jeri Suarez, cochair, associate vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion
Maryke Barber, cochair, information literacy, outreach and arts liaison librarian
Ashleigh Breske, visiting assistant professor of political science
Syreeta Combs-Cannaday ’02, associate director of the Hollins Fund
Billy Faires, executive director, marketing and communications
Makda Kalayu, class of 2023
Suzy Mink, vice president for external relations
China Moore, class of 2023
Robert Sweetenberg, groundskeeper
Shardei Sudler, class of 2021
Nakeshia Williams, vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion