College of New Jersey Shows Segregationist the Door

A decision memorably framed by local newspaper The Trentonian

There was a 26-hour sit-in protest staged last month by students. This week, the course of action those students were hoping for has been approved.

The College of New Jersey has decided to change the labeling of Paul Loser Hall, named after a former superintendent of Trenton Public Schools. Loser was a fan of segregation and, in fact, fought unsuccessfully in state Supreme Court to preserve that way of doing school business. From today’s Trentonian front-page story:

“While a decision to rename a building should never be taken lightly, there are times when such actions should be taken,” College president R. Barbara Gitenstein told alumni in a statement. “I believe that this is one of those times. Since I have such personal admiration for members of the Loser family, I come to this conclusion with sadness but without regret.”

Gitenstein announced her stance on the contentious topic following a recommendation from the college’s Advisory Commission on Social Justice: Race and Educational Attainment, which was formed to review the issue.

The building was named after Loser in 1987 in recognition of a $1 million donation made to the school by his family. Students in Professor Robert McGreevey’s class played a more recent role in documenting Loser’s controversial past.