Share your building name ideas

Please help consider new names for three important buildings on Oregon State University’s Corvallis campus: Benton Hall, Benton Annex and Avery Lodge.

Following an extensive community-based process and a decision in November by President Ed Ray to change the names of these three buildings, we are reaching out to the OSU community and stakeholders for naming suggestions.

A community meeting on new names will be held Monday, April 2, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union Horizon Room. This website includes a tool to submit naming recommendations online. As well, three committees, made up of faculty, staff and students, have been formed to help evaluate the proposed names and prepare a list of top choices to be considered.

These suggestions will be considered in mid-April by the university Architectural Naming Committee, which is responsible for making recommendations to President Ray regarding OSU building and place names. President Ray will announce the new names of these buildings in late April.

In considering new names for these buildings, President Ray has said that he seeks:

  • A name for Benton Hall that appropriately recognizes the many contributions of Benton County community residents in the 1860s, 70s and 80s, particularly the fundraising in the 1885-87 period, to build what is now Benton Hall that supported the founding of this university.
  • A name for Benton Annex that appropriately recognizes the building as home to the Women’s Center, a valued student resource center.

In considering a new name for Avery Lodge, please think about names that portray a sense of the geography or place that OSU’s Corvallis campus has in the Willamette Valley; the university’s 150-year history as Oregon’s land grant and statewide university; or the building’s purpose. For example, Avery Lodge is home to the Family Resource Center, the Human Services Resource Center and some University Housing and Dining Services administrative offices.

Please participate in this important effort.

Steve Clark
Chair
Architectural Naming Committee
Vice President
University Relations and Marketing

Process

During fall term 2017, the OSU community engaged in a process to evaluate the names of five buildings on the Corvallis campus – Arnold Dining Center, Avery Lodge, Benton Hall and Annex, and Gill Coliseum – whose namesakes may have held or espoused racist or otherwise exclusionary views. The community was asked to consider whether the context of the lives and legacies of the buildings' namesakes are inconsistent with OSU's present mission and values such that the buildings should be renamed.

This process involved the broad OSU community, including current students, staff and faculty throughout Oregon, alumni and community stakeholders. It was informed by historical inquiry and guided by a committment to build community through reconciliation and learning from difficult parts of OSU's history.

Following this extensive process, President Ray announced that new names would be selected for three buildings – Avery Lodge, Benton Hall, and Benton Annex. A full report summarizing the building and place name evaluation process is available here. During spring term 2018, the OSU community will be invited to participate in a process to select new names for these buildings.

OSU community meeting on new names

Renaming Criteria

A full evaluation of renaming requests are based on the question: Should a building be renamed because the “context” of an individual’s life and legacy is inconsistent with OSU’s contemporary mission and values?

“Context” is evaluated by the following criteria:

  • Actions taken by an individual vs. viewpoints held by an individual
  • The individual's public vs. private persona
  • The progression of an individual’s viewpoints and life as a whole
  • Whether and how an individual’s actions and viewpoints aligned with OSU’s mission and OSU’s and society’s values at the time
  • How the current OSU community engages with the “context” of an individual’s life

By examining the “context” of an individual's life as a university community, we can examine the viewpoints and actions of an individual, and the university's values, practices and policies that may have enabled or supported racist or exclusionary views.

More Information

Building Names Under Consideration

Arnold Dining Center

Named for OSU's second president, Benjamin L. Arnold; constructed in 1972 and remodeled in 2010. More Information. Arnold Dining Center Historical Report.

Avery Lodge

Named for Corvallis co-founder Joseph C. Avery; built in 1966 as a residential cooperative. More Information. Avery Lodge Historical Report.

Benton Hall and annex

Named after the residents of Benton County in 1947; constructed in 1887-1888. Annex constructed in 1892 and named in 1972. Benton County was named for Thomas Hart Benton, a United States senator from Missouri. More Information. Benton Hall and Annex Historical Report.

Gill Coliseum

Named after longtime OSU basketball coach Amory T. "Slats" Gill in 1966; opened in 1949. More Information. Gill Coliseum Historical Report.