Dr. May Edward Chinn Hall
October 3, 2022
Dear Campus Community,
In Spring of this year, the Renaming Buildings, Places and Structures Committee voted unanimously to move forward with a recommendation to rename Sanger Residence Hall. The Committee utilized a thoughtful and research-based path to discuss and review 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. I accepted this recommendation in May and sought name change nominations from our campus community.
Stony Brook University is an institution with a rich past and a commitment to pursuing a comprehensive view of its own history. Part of moving forward means the responsibility to choose which elements of our history we wish to celebrate and which elements no longer represent our values, goals, and mission. I would like to thank the members of the Undergraduate Student Government for submitting their original request and the Committee for their dedication in reviewing this name change.
As noted in my May message, once a name was selected, I committed to bringing it to a fall meeting of the Stony Brook Council for consideration. Today, I write to inform you that the Stony Brook University Council has approved the new building name of Dr. May Edward Chinn Hall. Dr. May Edward Chinn was a dedicated physician, especially for those who, due to racial and socioeconomic inequality, did not have steady access to healthcare, and a passionate supporter of early cancer screenings. As the first African American woman to graduate from Bellevue Hospital Medical College (which is now the NYU School of Medicine), she is a foundational part of New York State’s history.
I would like to thank the many members of our community who submitted their name change nominations, and a special thanks to Antonio Ferrantino who submitted the now-approved recommendation of Dr. May Edward Chinn Hall. Thank you as well to the Council for its reviewal and approval of this selection.
Now, our next step will be to formally submit this request and proposed name to the SUNY Board of Trustees for consideration at one of its upcoming meetings. If approved by the SUNY Board, we will proceed with the name change.
We will keep the Stony Brook community abreast of any updates. Thank you all for your passion and commitment to fostering an inclusive, vibrant campus culture.