Berkeley removes name from fifth campus building for racist past

The lettering on Moses Hall being removed by a campus work crew on Feb. 7, 2023. (Photo courtesy of UC Berkeley / Julian Meyn)

UC Berkeley removed the name of a founder and white supremacist from a campus building Tuesday, the fifth to be removed from its buildings since 2020. Moses Hall, which was named after Bernard Moses, a university professor who set up the science and history departments but also had racist ideals, is now known as Philosophy Hall.

Moses, who died in 1965, wrote in favor of lynching Black people and believed nonwhite races were inferior. He joins the likes of other slaveholders, eugenicists and racist individuals whose legacies are no longer displayed on the campus. 

Removing the Moses name from our campus — and acknowledging our historical ties to Bernard Moses — will help Berkeley recognize a challenging part of history while better supporting the diversity of today’s academic community.

Chancellor Carol Christ

These decisions for removal have been led by UC Berkeley’s Building Name Review Committee, which requires well-documented evidence to move forward with a proposal, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. So far, consensus has been unanimous for the individuals who have been identified and removed from buildings. 

According to reporting from the San Francisco Chronicle, there is still much left to be done: The university still has a Moses parking lot and Moses lecture series. The university also plans to post plaques to unnamed buildings, sharing their history so as to not completely erase the past. However, that has yet to be completed for all of them.

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