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Local News

Towson U renaming dormitories for 1st Black graduates

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Marvis Barnes (left) and Myra Harris from the 1959 yearbook.

TOWSON, Md. (AP) — Two Towson University dormitories that were once named for signers of the Declaration of Independence who enslaved hundreds are being renamed for the school’s first Black graduates.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the University System of Maryland Board of Regents voted Friday in support of university President Kim Schatzel’s request to rename the dormitories for Marvis Barnes and Myra Harris.

They were the university’s first Black students and graduated in 1959 after segregation was outlawed.

The buildings were previously named for William Paca and Charles Carroll, elected officials and Declaration of Independence signers who enslaved hundreds of people.

Their names were removed last year after years of pressure from students and the board of regents’ approval to rename buildings.