Remembrance committee established, begins work

Washington University in St. Louis has established the Committee to Examine Remembrance and Commemoration to evaluate professorships, buildings and other honors named for people to ensure such recognition aligns with the university’s values and, where needed, to confront history and to learn from the past.

The committee comprises administrators, faculty, staff and students and already has begun its work. The chair is Rebecca Brown, vice chancellor for strategic initiatives and university governance. View the full list of members.

“As we continue to evolve and grow — as individuals, as an institution and as a society — it’s critically important that we revisit our traditions and acknowledge our past,” Chancellor Andrew D. Martin said. “We are mindful that this will not always be easy and that there may be times when we need to face hard truths and make difficult decisions about our path forward. The CRC was formed to help us to navigate this process to ensure that we’re approaching any challenges that may arise with integrity and respect for both our history and our future.”

The committee is charged with developing a framework to examine issues of naming and commemoration that extends to buildings and other spaces, professorships and scholarships. The committee also will recommend establishing a group that will take up issues of concern, apply the framework and recommend actions to the chancellor and the Board of Trustees.

The framework will:

  • set guidelines and standards for when the group should consider a case, how requests are made and what facts merit consideration
  • set principles based on university values to allow for consistent guidance
  • establish the process for considering a case, including receiving input and expertise from within and outside the university
  • establish the range of possible outcomes, which may include adding historical context to displays up to renaming something.

The committee expects to complete its work by the end of 2024. Comments and suggestions on this process can be sent to the committee at

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