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Board of Trustees removes Schott name from baseball stadium, one other space

Board resolution notes ‘the change we want to see starts with us’

Acting on a recommendation by President Neville G. Pinto, the University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees unanimously voted today to remove the name of the late Cincinnati Reds owner and philanthropist Marge Schott from the university’s baseball stadium and a second space.

"Marge Schott’s record of racism and bigotry stands at stark odds with our University’s core commitment to dignity, equity and inclusion,” President Pinto said. “My recommendation to the board to remove her name is grounded in the firm belief that speaking out against exclusion is as essential as speaking up for inclusion. I hope this action serves as an enduring reminder that we cannot remain silent or indifferent when it comes to prejudice, hate or inequity. More than ever, our world needs us to convert our values into real and lasting action.”

“I especially want to commend our Board of Trustees, both individually and collectively, for taking decisive action,” Pinto added.

In its resolution, the board explained that Schott’s name would be removed from the baseball stadium and another space in the archives library, effective immediately.

The board resolution continued, “We….want to say, unequivocally, we stand with President Pinto and our campus community in our collective fight to end racism, inequality and indifference. The change we want to see starts with us.” 

My recommendation to the board to remove her name is grounded in the firm belief that speaking out against exclusion is as essential as speaking up for inclusion.

Neville G. Pinto President

This marks the second name removal by UC’s board in recent months. In December 2019, the trustees unanimously voted to officially name the university’s largest college the “College of Arts and Sciences” as an academic entity, to clarify that the name of slave owner Charles McMicken was not part of the college’s name.

The Schott name on the baseball stadium dated back to 2006, two years after her death following a $2 million donation to the UC Athletics Varsity Village project by the Marge and Charles Schott Foundation.

UC Vice President for Equity, Inclusion and Community Impact Bleuzette Marshall said she  appreciates President Pinto, Chairman Brown and the Board of Trustees “for listening to our community, leading with conviction and taking action.”

“As an employee and as an alumna, I'm encouraged and energized by this demonstrable commitment to creating a more welcoming and inclusive campus environment.  We are living our values,” Marshall added.

Over the years, there have been periodic calls to remove Schott’s name from the stadium from students, alumni, faculty, staff and members of the community because of Schott’s record of racist language and her comments concerning Adolf Hitler. Her actions led to her suspension for one year and eventual removal by Major League Baseball from her day-to-day control of the Reds from 1996 to 1998.

In recent weeks as civil rights protests grew in number and attendance following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, the push to remove her name from the stadium was renewed. A recent petition drive started by Bearcats alum and former student-athlete Jordan Ramey garnered 9,598 signatures as of June 17. 

“I am proud of our Bearcats, both current student-athletes and alumni, for speaking up on this,” said Athletics Director John Cunningham, who arrived at UC in January. “I also want to thank our Board of Trustees for listening and making this change.”