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Boston U. to remove Myles Standish’s name from dorm

Students say Plymouth leader committed ‘extreme acts of violence’ against ‘first peoples’

Plymouth Colony leader Myles Standish’s name will be removed from a Boston University dormitory after faculty accused him of “terrible acts against the native people,” according to a university news report.

Kenneth Freeman, the private institution’s interim president, announced the name removal Thursday after receiving approval from both the Faculty Council and the Board of Trustees, BU Today reports.

The name Myles Standish Hall, a dorm on BU’s Charles River Campus, still appears on the university website. It is not clear when the name will be removed or a new name will be chosen.

Standish, an early colonist who came over on the Mayflower, was the military leader of Plymouth Colony.

Leaders of the de-naming effort, including psychology lecturer Anna Ward, accused Standish of brutality toward native Americans.

Specifically, they pointed to the 1623 Massacre at Wessagusset, an effort Standish led “in which settlers lured members of the native Massachusett Tribe into a peace dinner before ambushing and brutally murdering them,” according to the Boston Globe.

Afterward, they said Standish beheaded one of the tribe’s leaders and displayed his head on a pole publicly.

Ward, a member of the Osage Nation, told BU Today she felt shocked when she first noticed Standish’s name on the building.

“[I]t was a name that I knew was associated with these terrible acts against the native people here,” Ward said.

Psychology Professor Kimberly Howard, chair of the Faculty Council, said having the early colonist’s name on the building has negatively affected the university.

“It has certainly impacted our reputation when we’re recruiting faculty, when we’re recruiting students, when we’re trying to work collaboratively with indigenous populations,” Howard told the university news.

Students advocated for the name removal for years, according to the university. In a petition, they accused Standish of “extreme acts of violence” against “this lands’ first peoples.”

The names of historic figures have been removed from university buildings and programs all across the country in recent years. These include “Star Spangled Banner” author Francis Scott Key, U.S. Chief Justice John Marshall, scientist Carl Linnaeus, and General Robert E. Lee’s horse.

Meanwhile, a Johns Hopkins University board is considering removing the name of President Woodrow Wilson from a fellowship program, The College Fix reported.

MORE: Washington & Lee University removes plaque honoring Robert E. Lee’s horse

IMAGE: Boston University/YouTube

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About the Author
Micaiah Bilger is an assistant editor at The College Fix.