New Brunswick

UNB to study Ludlow Hall name change after link to slavery raised

Several students have expressed concern about the name in recent months, and in October the school's Law Students' Society officially asked for Ludlow's name to be removed.

Students have called for law faculty building name to be changed because of namesake's connection to slavery

UNB president Paul Mazerolle said he wants a working group to look at UNB's rules about changing a building's name. (Joe MacDonald/CBC)

The University of New Brunswick has decided a committee will study whether its law faculty building should get a new name.

Ludlow Hall is named after George Duncan Ludlow, a Loyalist who became the province's first chief justice.

Several students have expressed concern about the name in recent months, and in October the school's Law Students' Society officially asked for Ludlow's name to be removed.

Ludlow, who lived from 1734 to 1808, made court rulings in favour of slavery and was an early proponent of Indian day schools, a precursor to residential schools.

Now UNB president Paul Mazerolle said he wants a working group to look at the name and the university's rules on name changes in the future.

"What about all the other buildings rooms and roads at UNB?" said Mazerolle. 

"What names have been applied? Did we use good due diligence?"

Although Mazerolle said he supports exploring a name change, he wouldn't weigh in on whether he felt a name change was warranted.

Ludlow has been called 'the leading judicial partisan of slavery in New Brunswick.' (archive.org)

"I don't want to pre-empt the recommendation of the working group," said Mazerolle. 

"The working group will be providing recommendations to myself and I'll provide recommendations to the board of governors."

Mazerolle said he's heard from members of the university community who support a name change and those who feel the name should stay.

"That's precisely why I think we need to have a working party with a range of groups on it, including students, including alumni, including content experts, historians, etc., who can take a full look [at] Ludlow's role," said Mazerolle.

The University of New Brunswick is considering changing the name attached to its law school after complaints from students. UNB president Paul Mazerolle explains the process. 10:46

Mazerolle said the process will have two parts. The group will report back to him on May 1, 2020, about whether Ludlow Hall should be renamed, and it will make a recommendation on a larger policy in December 2020.

The Law Students' Society resolution asked the university to remove the name "without delay."

"I hope the message is not that we're going slow on this," said Mazerolle.

"The message is, we need to take a deep dive into the history of Ludlow, the naming of the institution and what we should do as an institution."

With files from Information Morning Fredericton

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