Posted on March 15, 2021

Three JMU Buildings Honoring Confederate Leaders Will Be Renamed for Prominent Black Members of the Community

Eric Kolenich, Richmond Times Dispatch, February 26, 2021

Three buildings at James Madison University named for Confederate military leaders will be renamed for prominent Black members of its community.


Ashby Hall was named for Confederate Gen. Turner Ashby, who was killed less than two miles from the university’s campus in Harrisonburg. JMU has renamed the dormitory Harper Allen-Lee Hall, for former employees Doris Harper Allen and Robert Walker Lee.


Lee was a janitor and repairman at the school from 1909 to 1928 and is believed to be JMU’s first Black employee.  {snip}

Jackson Hall, which houses the Justice Studies department, was named for Stonewall Jackson. It’s new title is Darcus Johnson Hall, named for JMU’s first Black student and graduate.


Maury Hall, an office and classroom building, was named for Matthew Fountaine Maury, a scientist who joined the Confederacy. It is being renamed Gabbin Hall in honor of faculty members Joanne and Alexander Gabbin, who have been professors at JMU for more than 35 years. {snip}

The university has not considered changing its name. {snip}