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Response to Recommendation to Rename Sanger Residence Hall

May 17, 2022

Dear Campus Community,

Naming a campus space for an individual or an organization is an important decision because this honor signifies a connection between the namesake and Stony Brook University.

With the passage of time, some communities wish to remove honors previously bestowed. In the interest of creating a transparent, thoughtful, and consistent process for making these decisions, in Fall 2020 I announced the formation of the Renaming Buildings, Spaces and Structures Committee. The committee, comprised of faculty, staff, and students, established processes and principles that will guide future renaming requests.

In developing these, the committee discussed and reviewed historical materials, SUNY policies, and university practices. It also researched renaming efforts at other institutions and examined principles of historical inquiry to inform the review process. The committee completed its work in Spring 2021 and its recommended process was adopted.

This academic year, the Stony Brook University Undergraduate Student Government submitted a formal request to rename the Margaret Sanger residence hall, part of the Tabler student housing community. In keeping with the new process, we convened a committee and asked its members to review the request and make a recommendation.

The committee voted unanimously in Spring 2022 to recommend that we move forward with renaming Sanger. I am accepting that recommendation and will now take it through the established SUNY process to try to accomplish this.

The renaming process will begin with the university soliciting nominations for consideration. Nominations must be consistent with the university’s goals and mission, and should inspire current and future students, faculty, and staff. The deadline for nominations is August 31, 2022.

To submit a nomination for consideration, you may visit this survey or copy and paste the following URL into your web browser:

To verify the authenticity of this survey, you may visit:

Once a name is selected, I will bring it to a fall meeting of the Stony Brook Council for consideration. If approved, the name will be forwarded to the SUNY Board of Trustees for consideration at one of its 2022—23 regularly scheduled meetings. The building name will change if approved by the SUNY Board.

I am pleased that our community has taken a thoughtful and research-based path to the often emotional process of considering a new name for a campus structure. I encourage you to submit your nominations and I will update you as the process unfolds. For more details and information on the renaming process and the work of the committee, please visit the Renaming Buildings, Spaces and Structures Committee.


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Maurie McInnis