On July 23 the UCA Board of trustees unanimously voted for the renaming of the chemistry building from Laney-Manion Hall to Manion Hall.
The hall was built in 1994 and was named after Gov. Benjamin T. Laney. In 2014 the name Manion was later added in honor of Dr. Jerald “Jerry” M. Manion, who served 49 years at UCA as a professor in the chemistry department.
This vote arrived after SGA started a petition, which garnered over 2,000 signatures. SGA’s petition cited the Arkansas Gazette in referring to Laney as a “frequent opponent of civil rights and anti-segregation legislation.” Among the 30 co-sponsors of the petition was the American Chemical Society Club and the chemistry department.
Board of trustee chair E.C. Maltibia explained via text message that the board agreed with SGA and its co-sponsors “that the name Manion hall better represents our campus values.”
SGA President Jamaal Lockings said, “I think it is very encouraging to know that students wanted this to happen and for our board to vote unanimously shows that they are being receptive to students' concerns.”
Lockings emphasized how influential it was for the chemistry department and the American Chemical Society Club to help work toward the name change.
“It says a lot when the chair of the department and an organization founded in that department want to see the name change because that’s sort of their home base on UCA campus and for them to be behind the initiative was just really profound,” Lockings said. “That’s the educational environment that they're all working, learning and growing in and they also want those values to be reflected on the building.”
Maltbia added, “As a board, we will continue to work to ensure our campus remains a welcoming environment for our entire UCA family."