Maryland Terrapins university regents have voted to change the name of their football stadium from Byrd Stadium to Maryland Stadium on Friday morning. A student-led initiative was the impetus for the renaming, as the former name was in honor of former university president HC "Curley" Byrd -- a noted proponent of racial segregation.
"This is a difficult and emotion-laden issue," said university president Wallace D. Loh. "[Byrd] earned his place in our university's history. He was also an ardent proponent of racial segregation and discrimination. To many African-American alumni and students, Byrd Stadium -- the 'front porch' of the institution, not the most important part of the educational house but the most visible one -- conveys a racial message hidden in plain sight."
Named after the former Maryland president back in 1950 upon its opening, the former Byrd Stadium served as a beacon of racial insensitivity to the students who both captained and supported the initiative to rename it. After a long debate, university regents approved the change and placed a five-year moratorium on naming any campus buildings after individuals.
Byrd was a former football player for the Terps before taking over the seat of university president. He remained in the position for 19 years, overseeing massive upgrades for the university's infrastructure and a huge increase in the number of faculty members and students on campus. He died in 1970
Loh suggests that the university should find some way to keep Byrd's name associated with the university, whether in be in the naming of the library or as a namesake for annual awards.Back to the Maryland Terrapins Newsfeed