Cleveland State University agrees to change name of law school

Cleveland State University leaders voted to remove Cleveland-Marshall from College of Law name.
Cleveland State University leaders voted to remove Cleveland-Marshall from College of Law name.(woio)
Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 7:47 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A new beginning, a fresh start, a new name. Cleveland State University leaders agreed to remove the name Cleveland-Marshall from its College of Law to the CSU College of Law.

Students wanted a different name because John Marshall, the name the college inherited, was a former slave owner.

“I hope it catapults us into focusing on the actual experience of students of color here at the university... this is just the beginning of systemic and substantive change for the university,” said Delante Thomas.

Thomas is a CSU graduate and President of the Norman S Minor Bar Association, he said he stands fully behind the decision.

This decision was made possible by the Law School Name Committee. The committee was formed after the Law School received an online petition about the name. In a summary of its findings, it says.

“John Marshall’s blatantly racist and pro-slavery viewpoints and values are diametrically at odds with the current values of our law school and the broader society in general.”

The findings also state honorary names are usually reserved for those with strong ties to the university and community, something neither Marshall nor his ancestors have.

However, not all have been in favor of the change.

In April attorney Henry Hilow told 19 news Marshall’s imprint on the judicial system as a separate but equal part of our government should never be forgotten.

“Discussion is good that’s why we have it. That’s why it’s good we have an independent judiciary that holds everybody else accountable in separate but equal and that’s why I think it’s got to be remembered here” said Hilow.

The university said there are no immediate plans for a new name for the college. Until then they are staying on a path toward change.