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The Untold Story of the Attempt to Memorialize Ruby Cora Webster by Renaming Building 51 at SCSU

September 2017- About ten years ago, the Herberger School of Business on the campus of St. Cloud State University moved to its current location in Centennial Hall, and this left a "naming" vacuum on campus where the building it left behind was simply called "Building 51."

Professor Christopher Lehman, however, has an idea of whom the building that houses the departments of English, Political Science, and Ethnic and Women's Studies should be named after.  Her name is Ruby Cora Webster, and she graduated in 1910 from the St. Cloud Normal School as a teacher. She was also the first African American to graduate from what is now St. Cloud State University.

In this installment of the Untold Stories of Central Minnesota, Arts & Cultural Heritage Producer Jeff Carmack talks with Christopher Lehman about Ruby Cora Webster, the challenges she faced getting an education during the era of Jim Crow, and how the naming of a building on campus for a pioneer in the school's history ties into the racial conversations currently going on today.

UPDATE: The University and Minnesota State approved renaming Building 51 in honor of Ruby Cora Webster. Here's the story.

This program is funded in part by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Legacy Grant.


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