UW-Madison to remove 70-ton boulder some view as reminder of campus’ racist past | Higher education

UW-Madison will get rid of a 70-ton stone from the heart of school Friday early morning following calls over the previous year from trainees of color who see the rock as a sign of the university’s racist past.

Chamberlin Rock, situated on top of Observatory Hill, is called in honor of Thomas Crowder Chamberlin, a geologist and previous university president. However for some trainees of color on school, the rock represents an unpleasant history of discrimination.

The boulder was referred to as a “n——-head” — a commonly used expression in the 1920s to describe any large dark rock — at least once in a 1925 Wisconsin State Journal story. University historians have not found any other time that the term was used but said the Ku Klux Klan was active on school at that time.

UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank approved the removal of Chamberlin Rock in January however the Wisconsin Historical Society needed to sign off on the rock’s elimination due to the fact that it lay within 15 feet of a Native American burial website.

The university revealed Thursday that the rock will be eliminated at 6:30 a.m. Friday. The rock will be put on university-owned land southeast of Madison near Lake Kegonsa.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.