Chowan University removing Jesse Helms name from building

Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 10:15 AM EDT
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MURFREESBORO, N.C. (AP) - A university in North Carolina has renamed its athletic facility because of the previous namesake’s opposition to civil rights.

News outlets report The Helms Center at Chowan University was named after former North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms.

The university’s Board of Trustees announced last week that the facility would be renamed the Hawks Athletic Center, after the school’s mascot.

The private Baptist university says the change comes after the community expressed concern that the position Helms took on civil rights didn’t match Chowan’s mission.

Helms was a member of the conservative movement and represented the state in congress from 1973 to 2003. He opposed civil rights, racial integration and gay rights.

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