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UM to name first building after a Black woman, names tunnel to stadium after Lloyd Carr


The University of Michigan on Thursday approved to name a future residential hall after E. Royster Harper, the vice president emerita for student life who worked at the university for more than four decades.

The Board of Regents also approved naming the tunnel leading into Michigan Stadium after former Coach Lloyd Carr. It will be formally dedicated prior to the Oct. 15 football game when the Wolverines take on Penn State.

The residence hall will be the first building on UM’s campus in Ann Arbor with a Black woman’s name.  Harper worked for UM for 40 years including as vice president for student life for 18 years before retiring in 2019.

In making the announcement, outgoing President Mary Sue Coleman said the university's residence hall system would need to be expanded and UM wants a future dorm to honor a longtime campus leader.

“She was an unrelenting champion of students and their experiences on campus,” Coleman said, citing numerous accomplishments including the renovation and expansion of residence halls.

Harper came to the meeting to bid farewell to Coleman, not expecting the board to honor her by naming a future dorm after her.

Regent Kathy White said there are no words to show appreciation for Harper's work at the university.

"This is a small step towards it," said White. "You have been so critical to the board for so many years, and especially in the role of vice president for student life and how well you have helped us see the importance of listening to students and spending time understanding their concerns."

The regents also named the tunnel leading into the Big House after Carr, the retired Hall of Fame and National Champion Head football coach for the Wolverines. 

"Lloyd Carr set a high standard as a coach and mentor," said Warde Manuel, UM athletic director. "He was a great leader and an example for his players and staff. Lloyd was a teacher as much as he was a football coach, always looking to make a positive impact on the lives of his players. This is a well-deserved recognition for all that Lloyd has accomplished and contributed to this University. We are so happy to honor his impact and legacy at the University of Michigan in this way."

Carr, who attended the meeting, said he was honored.

"For the last 95 years, hundreds and maybe thousands of players have run down that tunnel to try and win for Michigan," Carr said. "In my mind, the tunnel into Michigan Stadium is hallowed ground."

kkozlowski@detroitnews.com