UVM's Library Dropped 'Bailey' From Its Name. Here's Why

Nov 5, 2018

As the 13th president of the University of Vermont, Guy Bailey expanded the campus, constructed new buildings and led the school through the Great Depression. For decades his name adorned the university library, the Guy W. Bailey/David W. Howe Memorial Library, often called simply the Bailey/Howe Library.

But Bailey was also a proponent of eugenics. That legacy inspired students and faculty to push to drop his name from the library. Last month, the university’s board of trustees did just that, changing its name to the David W. Howe Memorial Library

Eugenics was a debunked pseudo-science focused on genetics which sought to eliminate “undesirable” genes. Vermont's eugenics programs led to the targeted sterilizations of mostly poor women, as well as darker-skinned French-Canadians and Native Americans.

Ron Lumbra, vice-chair of UVM's board of trustees and chair of the Renaming Advisory Committee, joins Vermont Edition to discuss how and why the board decided to remove Bailey's name and the process now in place to consider future name changes. 

Broadcast live on Monday, Nov. 5, 2018 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.