James Madison Honors Enslaved Black Servant in Naming of New Residence Hall - Higher Education
Higher Education News and Jobs

James Madison Honors Enslaved Black Servant in Naming of New Residence Hall


James Madison University has unveiled the new name for a student dormitory in honor of Paul Jennings, an enslaved African-American servant to Founding Father James Madison and his wife, Dolley.

Paul Jennings

Paul Jennings Hall is set to open in the fall on the Harrisonburg campus. It houses 500 beds.

Jennings, a witness to the evacuation of the White House during the War of 1812, wrote a memoir A Colored Man’s Reminiscences of James Madison decades later of his time in Washington, D.C. during the Madison presidency. The memoir challenged claims that Dolley saved a portrait of George Washington from the 1814 White House fire, according to The Washington Post.

“Naming what will be a vibrant hub of student activity after Paul Jennings allows us to provide important and inclusive context to the complex story of James Madison — known as ‘the Father of the Constitution’ — and the central paradox of the founding of our republican democracy,” university president Dr. Jonathan R. Alger said in a statement. “As we continue to recognize Madison’s pivotal role in the founding of our country, . . . we must also confront as an institution that Madison profited from the ownership of slaves.

“Paul Jennings was an important historical figure in his own right, and overcame hardship to leave an impressive legacy,” Alger added.

Professor’s Research Rejects Stereotypes of Black Women Athletes Dr. Tomika Ferguson recalls the words that were the genesis of her ongoing research on women of color in college athletics. As an elite student-athlete, she was once described as a “workhorse” with “natural athletic ability.” Ferguson, an assistan...
Gathering Addresses Sexual Misconduct, Title IX Solutions Higher education leaders and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights recently gathered in the same room to discuss solutions to the challenges that institutions face addressing sexual misconduct on campus. During the session last...
Mumps Confirmed at Virginia Commonwealth University RICHMOND, Va. — Authorities say there's a confirmed case of mumps at Virginia Commonwealth University. News outlets reported Tuesday that the university sent out an alert to community members disclosing that the Richmond City Health Department...
AAC&U Annual Meeting Addresses Evolving Role of Higher Education Diverse Executive Editor Dr. Jamal Watson moderates a panel on minority faculty recruitment and retention Thursday at the 104th annual meeting of the Association of American Colleges & Universities in Washington, D.C.  WASHINGTON— Centering...
Semantic Tags: