BOONE — Two Appalachian State University residence halls named after divisive figures will have new identities later this year, the school announced Monday, Jan. 11.
Lovill Hall is now Elkstone Hall, while Hoey Hall will now be Dogwood Hall, according to Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Communications Officer Megan Hayes.
The change comes seven months after the ASU Board of Trustees approved Chancellor Sheri Everts’ plan to remove the names from their respective residence halls.
The names of the dorms had been called into question over the years due to the Confederate or segregationist history of the two people they were named after, Clyde Roark Hoey and Edward Francis Lovill. While reviews of the names began in 2017, they picked up steam in summer 2020, following nationwide protests against racial injustice that followed the deaths of George Floyd and other black men and women across the country. The protests led to the destruction and removal of Confederate monuments and proposals to rename schools, military bases and other facilities named for Confederate or segregationist leaders.
Submitted in summer 2019, a report from associate history professor and Inclusive Campus Stories Work Group member Andrea Burns outlined the history of the two men.
According to Burns’ report, Lovill (1842-1925) enlisted as a private in the Confederate Army at the age of 19 and quickly rose through the ranks. Lovill went on to serve in the N.C. Senate as a Democrat during a time when, according to Burns, “it would have been clear to the average voter that in the Reconstruction and post-Reconstruction eras, the Democratic Party stood for a return to white supremacy and its associated policies.”
In 1885, Lovill secured a bill that would ultimately lead to the creation of the Appalachian Training School, the forerunner of Appalachian State. He served as the chair of the school’s first board of trustees and remained in the position for over 20 years, according to the report.
Hoey (1877-1954) worked in the newspaper business prior to being elected to the state House and later Senate, according to Burns’ report. He played a significant role in helping the “Newland Bill,” which authorized the creation of a state-supported training school for teachers in Boone. He later served as assistant U.S. attorney, a U.S. congressman, North Carolina governor and a U.S. senator.
“During these crucial years of the late 19th and early 20th century, when Reconstruction-era reforms were almost entirely dismantled, lynching was on the rise and white supremacist organizations like the Klan were highly active in North Carolina and throughout the United States, Hoey vocally and intentionally advocated for the disenfranchisement, suppression and segregation of African Americans,” Burns wrote.
A building on the campus of N.C. Central University in Durham, a historically Black university, was named for Hoey after he secured state funding for the institution. N.C. Central trustees voted to rename that building in February 2019.
While a U.S. senator, Hoey consistently opposed civil rights legislation, according to the report.
Hayes said the plans to rename the buildings were slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic, but never fully stopped, and the new signage will be installed during the spring 2021 semester.
“Because many App State students who live on campus are living in the Boone area for the first time, the Student Affairs Building Naming Committee — made up of students — faculty and staff, determined the environmental names would help students connect with the local natural environment and add significance to their college experience,” Hayes said. “The names for App State’s new residence halls — Thunder Hill Hall, Raven Rocks Hall, Laurel Creek Hall and New River Hall — are examples of the use of natural elements from the local area also suggested by the naming committee.”
Thunder Hill and Raven Rocks opened in fall 2020, Laurel Creek is scheduled to open in fall 2021 and New River is scheduled to open in fall 2022.