Murray Blackwelder, External Affairs, (515) 294-7730
John Anderson, University Relations, (515) 294-6136
ISU TO REMOVE TWO BRICKS FROM PLAZA OF HEROINES
AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University has agreed to remove two bricks from its Plaza of Heroines at the request of the persons who purchased the bricks or who are named on them. One brick was purchased by the children of Blue Maas to honor her, and the other was purchased by Phyllis Harris to honor her mother.
The two bricks frequently have been covered with black cloth as part of a movement to get the university to change the name of Carrie Chapman Catt Hall. The Plaza of Heroines is at the entrance to Catt Hall and bricks were purchased to support remodeling of the building. A group of ISU students and faculty want the name of the building changed because of comments made by Catt during the women's suffrage movement in the early 1900s that many consider offensive.
ISU wrote to Maas and her family and Harris asking them if they wanted the bricks removed, and they have agreed, according to ISU Vice President for External Affairs Murray Blackwelder. Harris said that having her family's name included in the Plaza of Heroines is no longer an honor as she first perceived it. As a result, she has requested that her brick be removed.
Blackwelder said, "We are taking this action because we understand the deeply held views of those who believe the name of the building should be changed and who feel it is no longer an honor to have their names included in the Plaza of Heroines. We respect their views and we admire them for their stance. However, our position on the building name remains unchanged. While we agree that some of Catt's comments were regrettable, we believe her contributions to women's suffrage and world peace warrant having a building named for her."
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