Review of named spaces, buildings and grounds on UB campuses

Updated August 3, 2020

Diversity, inclusion and mutual respect are strongly held values of our university.  We are committed to upholding these values at all times so that everyone in the University at Buffalo community can study, teach, work and conduct research in an environment free of discrimination or hatred.

For many months, students, faculty and staff at UB have been discussing the topic of institutional symbols, particularly those that contradict and undermine our university's mission of diversity, equity and inclusion. UB’s examination of these issues is essential as we build on our commitment to explore, understand and respond to racism and systemic inequality, and dismantle barriers to equity and inclusion.

The university has activated a process to review named spaces, building and grounds on our campuses. This process included a review of the use of Millard Fillmore's, James O. Putnam’s and Peter B. Porter’s public statements and historical legacies. 

On August 3, 2020, the UB Council voted to remove Fillmore’s, Putnam’s and Porter’s names from three locations at UB, a decision that aligns with the university’s commitment to fight systemic racism and create a welcoming environment for all.

  • Putnam Way will be renamed Mary Talbert Way in honor of the Buffalo civil rights pioneer.
  • Millard Fillmore Academic Center, which is part of the Ellicott Complex, will be known as Academic Center until a new name is determined.
  • The former Putnam’s Marketplace Eatery in the Student Union will be known as Union Marketplace & Eatery.
  • Porter Quadrangle, a residence hall that is part of the Ellicott Complex, will be renamed at a later date.

The university will make changes to campus signage and websites prior to the start of the fall semester, which begins Aug. 31.