Intramural Recreation Center at Indiana University Was Named After a Man Who Held Extreme Racist Views

Students at Indiana University are calling on the administration to change the name of the intramural recreation center which currently honors Ora Wildermuth, who served as president of the university’s board of trustees from 1938 to 1949.

The student newspaper on campus reported that in 1945 Wildermuth wrote a letter to an administrator in which he said, “I am and shall always remain absolutely and utterly opposed to social intermingling of the colored race with the White.” In a 1948 letter to the president of the university, Wildermuth wrote, “The average of the black race as to intelligence, economic status, and industry is so far below the white average that it seems to me futile to build up hope for a great future. Their presence in the body politic definitely presents a problem.”

The Wildermuth Intramural Center was dedicated in 1971, seven years after his death.