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Chancellor's Message: Renaming Administration Building


February 27, 2019

Dear NCCU Students, Faculty, Staff and Alumni:

Today, the North Carolina Central University Board of Trustees voted unanimously to un-name the Clyde R. Hoey Administration Building and rename it to be the Dr. James E. Shepard Administration Building, effective today, February 27, 2019.

At today’s Board meeting, NCCU Board Chairman George Hamilton shared the following information on the history of the building’s name and the process that preceded this change.

The Clyde R. Hoey Administration Building, dedicated in 1939, has served as a center for many of the administrative units of campus, including the offices of the chancellor, provost, legal affairs and administration and finance. The building was named for former North Carolina Governor Clyde Roark Hoey. During his tenure, which lasted from 1937-1941, the state provided the resources for North Carolina College and other Historically Black Colleges to offer their first graduate courses.

In the years since, North Carolina Central University has grown to become an even more diverse and inclusive campus community attracting students, faculty and staff from various backgrounds. Additionally, the university has remained steeped in the ideals of “Truth and Service” that were set forth by the institution’s founder, Dr. James E. Shepard, more than a century ago. The values we have promoted and embraced for more than 108 years, including developing individuals of character and providing exemplary academic training, remain true today not only for our campus community, but also for our partners and community stakeholders.

Along with growth and progress for our university comes the opportunity for reflection and change. With this new lens, the Student Government Association requested the renaming of the Hoey Administration Building. Upon receiving the request, NCCU’s Administration initiated a process that engaged the university’s constituents and provided both the SGA and the NCCU Alumni Association Inc. with the steps needed to formally rename the building.

A series of forums took place and surveys were distributed to students, faculty, staff and alumni beginning in Spring 2018. The findings were presented to the NCCU Board of Trustees on April 23, 2018.

The following next steps directed by the NCCU Board of Trustees were to:

  • Review the documented, official history of Clyde Hoey with the assistance of Professor of History Dr. Jerry Gershenhorn and Coordinator of University Archives Mr. Andre’ Vann.
  • Research the proper protocol for changing the name of a state-supported institution.
  • Research other buildings and structures on campus that may be candidates for name changes.

On June 26, 2018, Dr. Gershenhorn and Mr. Vann provided the Board of Trustees with Governor Hoey’s biography and official history as it related to NCCU. The Board requested to have additional information, as well as suggestions for a name that would strongly reflect the values that are inherent to North Carolina Central University, its founder, its founding principles and the institution’s prominence as a regional, national and global hub for intellectual dialogue and academic distinction.

In the months following, SGA and the Alumni Association gathered suggestions for the name and provided them to the Board and respondents overwhelming selected the Dr. James E. Shepard Administration Building. Dr. Shepard was a visionary leader who had a tremendous impact on the educational landscape here at NCCU and throughout the country. His central vision focused on training and cultivating moral leadership, which still remains a priority of our institution. Today, when young men and women walk pass the Dr. James E. Shepard Administration Building, it will be a place that honors our founder and stand as a point of pride for generations to come.

Mr. Davanta Parker, NCCU Student Government Association president, stated: “The renaming of the Dr. James E. Shepard Administration Building is monumental in NCCU’s history as we move forward in our mission of promoting diversity, and ensuring that our campus is fulfilling the true values of both truth and service. This decision shows that the voice of the student body truly matters and when we speak up we can make significant change.” 

Mr. Samuel Cooper, NCCU Alumni Association Inc. president, commented: “Today marks the reshaping of history for NCCU with the renaming of the Dr. James E. Shepard Administration Building. I commend the students of North Carolina Central University for their fortitude in spearheading this effort. We will continue to move forward in encouraging students, alumni and the larger community to execute initiatives that reflect the values of the university.”

In Truth and Service,

Johnson O. Akinleye, Ph.D.


Published: Wednesday, February 27, 2019
by Associate Vice Chancellor, Ayana D Hernandez
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