Building Name Review: Boalt Hall - Feedback

The Building Name Review Committee welcomes comments on the proposal remove the name of one of the law school’s principal buildings, Boalt Hall. Berkeley Law Dean Chemerinsky submitted this proposal after a discussion on the topic with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and supporters of the law school.

Dean Chemerinsky's submission and the comment form are available at:

Submitted comments that were designated by their authors to be public appear below. Names have been removed.

This page includes comments received as of August 20, 2019.

Timestamp Comment
5/21/2019 13:16:27 The time has come for a change.  Failing to remove the "Boalt Hall" name, now that we are informed of John Boalt’s public advocacy for exclusionary and racist laws, would take on a new and regrettable symbolic meaning that runs counter to the school’s values of inclusion and intellectual honesty. 

We must challenge the status quo:  our tradition as a campus is, in fact, one of positive, incremental and informed change.  By rigorously confronting the anachronism of the Boalt name and by acknowledging its present connotation, after thorough study and respectful debate, we do more honor to our school and show greater respect for all its current and future stakeholders than we would by calcifying the old Boalt name in perpetuity.  Changing the school’s name (along with the building name) honors all the legal scholars and student activists at Berkeley who for decades have fought for a society under law in which every individual is respected and empowered, regardless of ethnicity or background. 

The harm of keeping the old name outweighs the harm of dropping it.   Fiat lux.
5/18/2019 13:19:53 All racist names deserve to be removed from public buildings.
5/13/2019 13:29:51 The issue at hand is whether we should remove the name “Boalt” from the main building in the Law School complex. We believe it should not be removed. To do so would dishonor Elizabeth Boalt’s generosity and break a promise made by the University to her to name the law school building in memory of her late husband, Judge John Henry Boalt.   In delivering this memo we recognize that the Judge Boalt’s comments in 1877 were offensive and are hurtful to present students and we do not intend to minimize their effect.  But we do not feel that the words spoken at that time by a person who could be considered a sensitive Progressive for his time justifies removal of his name from the Law School.  There are other ways to address the issue.
This issue probably would not have arisen at all but for the fact that it was recently discovered that Judge Boalt had given a speech (largely unknown or forgotten) in August of 1877 entitled the “The Chinese Question” in which he argued that two people of profoundly different cultures cannot harmoniously occupy the same land unless one is subordinate to the other. In the case of Chinese immigrants, he asserted that the cultural and physical differences between native whites and Chinese immigrants made a harmonious assimilation impossible. Because of that 1877 speech, it has been argued that the name “Boalt” should be removed from the Law School building as being insensitive to people of Chinese ancestry, if not outright racist.
Time has proven that Boalt was wrong on his principal point that a harmonious assimilation was impossible. This is particularly so in the United States and especially in California where East Asians make up a plurality of students at UC Berkeley.  But Boalt did not know that would be the case. In fact it appears that Boalt's pessimism about the prospects of harmony between native white people and Chinese immigrants was influenced by a violent White on Chinese “race-riot” which occurred in San Francisco less than one month before his speech in which four people died and over $100,000 in damage to Chinese owned businesses was committed by a White working-class mob.
While his speech contains language that we understand is hurtful to many people, his speech did not advocate violence against the Chinese immigrants and, in fact included laudatory comments about the character of Chinese immigrants including a statement that in some ways the Chinese immigrants were far advanced and in the presence of death, he said, they displayed a “rare intrepidity and yield up their lives with a courage which we should consider heroic in one of ourselves. They excel us in industry and economy."   One would not expect such laudatory remarks being made to an audience composed of people who had recently run amok killing Chinese immigrants and destroying their homes.  Also in other respects Judge Boalt's life was "progressive" for his time and not that of a twentieth century racist. Among other things, when the Civil War started, Boalt returned from his studies in Europe and volunteered for the Union Army and fought against Slavery.
It is also important to keep in mind that the views expressed in Boalt's 1877 speech views were held by the vast majority of the population in the post-Reconstruction years. Concern about the impact of immigration from China on the wages and working conditions of native workers was common among political figures of the time. Exclusion of Chinese immigration was supported by many important populist political figures of that day, including William Jennings Bryan, Democratic candidate for president.  Many other important figures in American history throughout the 18th and 19th Century (and even into the 20th Century) expressed the same anxiety about whether people of different races could ever live in harmony and equality, including most notably Abraham Lincoln and most prominent Abolitionists.  (In fact Abraham Lincoln is on record stating that the Slaves were not the equal of white men and would not be accepted as equals of white men for over 100 years after Emancipation.) Others such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and George Berkeley (for whom this city and this campus were named) owned slaves.  Should the Law School’s name be changed to that of a slave owner?
Furthermore we should acknowledge the contribution of Elizabeth Boalt, Judge Boalt's widow.  She was continuing the Progressive vision of her husband in making a major donation to the University’s fledgling new law school.  Berkeley was at the forefront among other universities being open to all races, religions, ethnicities and genders. Elizabeth Boalt made it clear that she wanted not only help the University but also to encourage women to study law (all at a time when women were often ridiculed for wanting to become lawyers).  The first woman law student graduated in 1906 and by 1915 Boalt was second in the nation for the number of women law students (behind the University of Chicago and tied with the University of Washington).
Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt’s generosity is a fact and we have all benefited from it. To remove the name Boalt Hall now would be to dishonor her memory and to show contempt for her generosity. She was beloved by the students and faculty and is still referred to as the “matriarch” of the Law School on its website. Her role in the founding of the law school alone is worth remembering.
Finally, it is important to note that Boalt Hall was not named by the University to “honor” him or his views as expressed in his 1877 speech but rather in “memory” of him by his wife. Such memorial gifts were and are common at the University of California. Sather Gate, Sather Tower, Hearst Hall, among others, are gifts made by widows in memory of their deceased husbands. If the University now changes the name of Boalt Hall it will be harder to assure future donors that they can have confidence to keep its word.
The distinction between a “memorial” naming in recognition of a gift and a unilateral naming in “honor” of someone is important. Judge Boalt’s speech thirty or so years before the memorial gift was made does not appear to have been an issue at the time the University accepted the gift and named the Hall. Thus, this case is not like that of Calhoun College at Yale or of various statutes of various Confederate generals or politicians or KKK members. Those namings were made expressly to “honor” them (not given in memory by a surviving spouse) and the views of those honorees were much more egregious and in no way comparable to Judge Boalt’s.
On a personal level, and we believe we speak for many alumni, the name Boalt Hall is one for which we have a great affection — and with which we identify. It is the recipient of our largest personal gifts. If the name Boalt is now removed, we will feel a sense of personal loss, not because we in any way identify with or affirm Judge Boalt’s views as expressed in his 1877 speech, but because “Boalt Hall” is part of our past. 
Finally, several of the alums would emphasize that Boalt Hall was built as a result of the generosity of Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt; and they believe that regardless of whatever views one might have about her husband her name should continue to be recognized on the building.
5/9/2019 8:17:04 I will probably never shed the 40-year old habit of referring to the school as "Boalt Hall," but I nonetheless oppose keeping the name on the building. I don't believe Mrs. Boalt's generosity should bind the law school (or the university) to honor for all eternity a man so closely associated with attitudes and ideas abhorrent to our best traditions. It's too bad Mr. Boalt didn't think more clearly about his legacy while he was alive. 
5/3/2019 10:00:42 Naming a building in Berkeley community with the name of a racist is absolutely against the commonly accepted social norm and Berkeley’s spirit of promoting equality among all races. Building name is used on a daily basis. Naming a building with an improper name and using it frequently constantly remind people of the racism words spoken by Bolt. More sadly, people will think how come UC Berkeley, an icon of equality among all races, is willing to ignore such an inappropriate fact and still allows such name being used on a daily basis. Some people may say Bolt donated money to law school and contributed the development of the law school. However, I would say UCB and Berkeley Law failed to do sufficient due diligence in the beginning in accepting money from a racist. “Positive” result of a wrongdoing should never change the nature of the wrongdoing itself. I cannot see the reason of keeping such name and letting the community constantly doubt UCB’s attitude towards racism.
5/1/2019 22:03:20 Beyond time to rid Berkeley Law of this legacy of anti-Chinese racism and remind the Berkeley community of the power of words.
5/1/2019 12:07:27 I am in favor of Dean Chemerinsky's proposal to remove the name Boalt Hall.
5/1/2019 11:16:05 Racist historical figures should not be glorified anywhere - especially at America's best engine of socioeconomic mobility.
5/1/2019 1:05:48 As a Master of Public Policy student of Chinese ethnicity, it feels hurtful and humiliating to know that a building at an institution that I pay tuition to -- a building that houses a school that is supposed to uphold the values of fairness and justice -- is named after a man who opposed my very presence at this campus and in this country. The removal of this name would signal to me that UC Berkeley cares about my identity and my well-being and acknowledges that I have a place and a stake today in this institution that was historically not built for me.
4/30/2019 23:09:11 NO NO NO.  Don’t change the name of building now known as Boalt Hall.

I am a 1975 graduate of Boalt Hall.  My acceptance letter in 1972 came from Boalt Hall. At the end of the first lecture, Professor Preble Stolz said, “Welcome to Boalt Hall.” 

At the school, we learned that it was Elizabeth Jocylen Boalt who had donated the money for the school, and that she was a beloved figure for many years at the school itself, whose first building was dedicated in 1912. (I later worked under a lawyer who attended school in that building.) 

When Elizabeth Jocylen Boalt died in 1917. UC Regent Charles Stetson Wheeler gave her eulogy at her funeral.  Her pall bearers included the then law school dean, William Carey Jones, the President of the University, Benjamin Ide Wheeler (sound familiar?), and four honored law students.

Some of the documents that I received during law school actually referred to the school as the Elizabeth Jocylen Boalt School of Law.

My alumni association for 42 years was called the Boalt Hall Alumni Association.

Ok. I understand marketing and branding.  I know that “Berkeley Law” is instantly understood around the world.  I have accepted the name change, grudgingly.

At the same time, it was not until 2017 that I ever heard anything about John Boalt.  His reprehensible comments about Chinese immigrants, made in 1877 (142 years ago), should not detract from the name Boalt Hall, because it was his widow, Elizabeth Jocylen Boalt, that we have to thank for donating the money more than ten years after her husband’s death for the law school building.  Yes, she wanted her late husband’s name to be used, but Boalt was her name too.

It would be terribly sexist to allow the earlier sins of a husband to destroy the honored memory of his wife.

Try this for a modern analogy: Berkeley Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky is today held in high regard. Imagine that years from now his widow does something wonderful with their money and that the Chermerinsky name is used.  It is entirely possible that some argument Dean Chemerinsky has made this year, will, 142 years from now, be judged offensive by some.  Now ask yourself this question: If the Chemerinsky name is therefore besmirched in the year 2161, should all memory of his wife then be erased from history?

Joseph Stalin would try to erase from history all writings and even all photographs of people with whom he came to disagree.  You need to save Dean Chemerinsky from this name-erasing tendencies.

So please, keep the name of the building “Boalt Hall” by declaring that the building is henceforth named after that beloved woman who should not be forgotten, Elizabeth Jocylen Boalt. 

George L. Strasser, Boalt Hall, Class of 1975.
4/30/2019 22:45:11 Dear Chancellor Christ,
I greatly appreciate the committee's hard work in trying to arrive at a just conclusion on the question of re-naming Boalt Hall and the chairs with his name, and am particularly impressed by Dean Chemerinsky's confession that he has gone back and forth on this issue, which testifies to his good faith. I found all of reasons given in the report, both for removing the name and for not removing it, serious ones. But after taking all of these arguments into account, I cannot help thinking that a decision to remove the Boalt name is one that repairs no existing evil and may indeed cause present and perhaps future harm.

1) The decision to remove is based on Boalt's racist views, expressed in a 1877 essay advocating the exclusion of Chinese immigrants, an essay that is also insulting to African-Americans. The essay, Professor Charles Reichman argues in his Asian American Law Journal essay, was influential, as it was quoted in both the California Legislature and the U.S. Senate, when they passed the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882.  As child of the American South, I am only too familiar with the racism so prevalent in 19th and 20th century America. As an historian, I am also aware of that several decades of violence against Chinese in San Francisco preceded the Exclusion act, as did the agitation of the California Workingman’s Organization, San Francisco Branch, for excluding Chinese. I am also aware that the bill was supported by the national Democratic Party in need of California’s electoral votes. I suspect that those quoting Boalt were simply adding his name to an opinion they already held. (As an historian of Europe, I am also aware of the influence of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act over there, for in 1885 an immigration bill with nearly identical wording was submitted to the Austrian parliament. There were two differences, however. Instead of “Chinese” the Austrian bill said “Jew.” And while the American bill, passed the U.S. Congress, the Austrian bill to ban Jewish immigration was defeated 572 to 19.)

 I ask myself: when Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt generously offered the university the gift of $100,000 to honor her husband, was there no one on our faculty at that time; no one, that is, on the “receiving end” of her money, who was aware of Boalt’s 1877 essay and its racism?  According to what I could find on the internet, by 1901 we were employing two professors, two instructors, and three lecturers in the Department of Jurisprudence. Surely one of them must have known, if the article was “influential.” And yet they were apparently glad to get the gift, even one named after John Henry Boalt.

Perhaps, of course,  they shared his views. But is it not possible that his views were based on ignorance rather than malevolence? I don't know the secrets of Boalt's life, but if being wrong is cause for banishment, "then who Lord, can be saved?" The report does not say that Boalt committed any evil acts – unlike Earl Warren a half century later, who not only actively supported the internment of our Japanese citizens in World War II, but helped draw up plans to make it possible. It is countered that at least Earl Warren did some good in his life, while we don’t know anything especially good that Boalt did. The committee tried, I think, to address such concerns when it conceded that some of our most honored forefathers also held  dreadful views – but at least they did some good things to set against these views. (Thus we are allowed, in good conscience, to continue to call our nation's capital by the name of a slave-holder.)  But how can we say that John Boalt has done no good, just because we don't know of it?  We do know that his spouse wanted to honor him, and she has been a generous benefactor to our university.

To banish Boalt for his wrong opinions while continuing to employ on our law faculty a professor who, as Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the United States during the George W. Bush administration in 2002, drew up a defense of torture (waterboarding and other "enhanced interrogation techniques") did cause great harm seems – well, cheap. Whether that colleague’s harm was to the torture victims themselves is not for me to say, since – as in the case of Boalt’s essay’s alleged “influence” on America’s legislators – I don't know whether  "torture memo" was anything more than a rationale for a policy that the Bush administration had already determined to follow in any case. But we do know that his act has harmed the international reputation of the United States, which had signed the 1949 Geneva Convention and as well as the U.N. Convention against Torture. To banish Boalt while continuing to allow this colleague to grace our halls seems to me to be straining at a gnat, having already swallowed a camel.

The committee might well respond: some wrongs we cannot right, but those we can right, we should. But the committee’s recommended solution – renaming some Boalt professorships after recent distinguished deans of our law school – reveals the weakness at the very heart of the re-naming project. At least with John Henry Boalt – 142 years later – we already know the worst. But have we already forgotten that two of our law school's more recent deans – I shall not name them here - have had to resign in disgrace; not, indeed, for their views, but for something they did – or at least are alleged to have done. Who is to say that we won't find out something just as disqualifying about one of the recent deans you list for possible future honor – or indeed about any name on any future list? Maybe not this year or the next – but as we see from the case of J. H. Boalt (1837-1901), there is apparently no statute of limitations for opinions even a century old.

What can be the harm of removing the name of Boalt, you might say, since we know that he was a racist (and he doesn't have tenure)? At least it shows the flag - the flag of our abhorrence for racism.  What harm can come from a purely symbolic gesture? It costs us nothing. Precisely. It is a cheap gesture.

      If the committee desires us to purge the names of miscreants from our university, I suggest that we show our sincerity by doing so where there is some cost. My undergraduate years were spent at an institution (Swarthmore College) that refused to administer a loyalty oath to its faculty – and so had to renounce any federal grant money while that demand stayed in effect. So I wonder: will UC-Berkeley declare that it will no longer administer or take part in the Fulbright Fellowship Program? Senator J. William Fulbright (1905-1995) in 1950 co-sponsored an amendment that, if enacted, would have allowed our soldiers to decline to serve in a racially integrated unit in the U.S. Army. In 1952, he helped block Alaska’s bid for statehood because it was clear that their elected representatives would support bills aimed at ending legally sanctioned racial inequality. In 1954, after the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education ruling, he signed (a moderated) version of Senator Strom Thurmond’s Southern Manifesto and told his Arkansas constituents that the only way to stop integration was to do what southerners had done in 1861: secede from the union. In 1963 he voted against the Civil Right’s Bill. In 1964 he voted against  the Voting Rights Act.  For me, Senator Fulbright was a hero for speaking out against the Viet Nam war, and he was by no means the worst of the South’s many racist senators. But really: a Fulbright Fellow? Alas, I am.
       Why stop at Fulbright? Fulbright himself had gone to Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship. And I’m sure that our university participates enthusiastically in whatever it takes to administer the Rhodes Scholarship – and to encourage our graduate students to apply.  Cecil Rhodes (1853-1902): now there’s a beauty !  Have you ever read his Confession of Faith?  It was written in 1877 – the same year that John Henry Boalt published his vicious article. “I contend that we are the finest race in the world and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race. Just fancy those parts that are at present inhabited by the most despicable specimens of human beings, what an alteration there would be if they were brought under Anglo-Saxon influence [etc.etc.etc.]. As Member of the Cape Colony parliament and then as its prime minister, Rhodes succeeded in passing measures that robbed Black Africans of the franchise and stole their land. Trevor Noah’s memoir of growing up in South Africa (Born A Crime, 2016) recounts a near riot that broke out when a hip-hop band for which he was DJ featured a dancer whose name was Hitler. The Jewish school at which they played were understandably outraged. But in Africa, Noah points out, Black Africans of his and his parents’ generation knew very little of European politics and thus of Hitler. People named their dogs Hitler and sometime their sons after Hitler, because to them it simply meant “someone tough.” Rhodes, however, is to Black African what Hitler is to Jews,  and indeed to the rest of the northern hemisphere. I would be happy to see Boalt Hall renamed if the University were also willing to withdraw from any participation in the Rhodes Fellowships.
         Let me conclude with what I think is the genuine harm that will be done by dropping the Boalt name, as opposed to the symbolic (cheap) pleasure that would – for a moment – come from “doing the right thing” and banishing him.
          Cheap “gestures” help lose elections. The non-academic public, especially those for whom money is hard to come by and actually means something, is not impressed by gestures that cost us nothing, but that can be seen to dishonor the dead – and the generous donor.  They are – often understandably – contemptuous of what they are told by the Right is “political correctness.” (Nate Cohn and Keven Quealy, in NYT's "The Upshot," April 9, 2019, reported that 70 % of Democrats think Political Correctness is a problem.)  Donald Trump’s successful election was (even given all the other valid explanations) a middle finger to us academics, for what some of these voters think is our obsession with appearances, our bending over backward to satisfy the demands of those for whom this or that act or symbol or phrase or gesture make “uncomfortable.”  (The committee chairman notes that he was “especially moved by our students and alumni of color who express discomfort at being part of a school where important parts of is operation and location are named for someone who actively promoted racism.” ) UC-Berkeley is already a cliché on the Right for its sensitivity to such discomforts. The renaming of Boalt Hall etc. would be “butter in their spinach.” They will use it to ridicule us, to ridicule our students, and claim that we are so busy issuing (bad) report cards to past heroes and benefactors that we are neglecting our real mission: to impart real information and training to the next generation. (I discussed the Chinese Exclusion Act in all my classes on Germany/Austrian history.) But I’m sure you know all these arguments yourself.

The committee briefly considered renaming the hall after Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt, but said that “in reality that would change nothing.” As a woman, I take exception to that. Her generosity is certainly worthy of honor, and she gave us money. How can her life, her name, be insignificant?  Let us continue to use the name of Boalt, but wherever practicable (e.g., on the stationary of our named chairs) on plaques in halls, honor Elizabeth Josselyn’s name rather than her husband’s.

Margaret Lavinia Anderson
Professor of History emerita
April 30, 2019
4/30/2019 12:57:53 Please change
4/29/2019 14:42:57 I am absolutely in favor of Dean Chemerinsky's proposal to remove the name "Boalt Hall". The Dean diligently and carefully reviewed the history and analyzed the issues relating to the use of Boalt Hall and he involved the Law School community---students, faculty, alumni and the broader community--- in the process. His report admirably states the case and I'm proud of the thought and work it represents. This is the right thing to do and, I'm confident that in time, most, if not all, of the dissenters---if they read the report--- will agree.
4/29/2019 13:51:49 I am very much opposed to removing the name Boalt Hall. When I attended the law school in the early 1960s everyone referred to the law school as Boalt Hall. Dean Prosser, as well as the faculty, the students, and alumni always referred to it as Boalt Hall. No other name was ever used except on official documents. I believe it is important to keep traditions alive. I am sorry if we lose this tradition because of the oversensitivity of a few people today.
Phillip B Berry, Boldt '63
4/28/2019 19:23:32 I am a JD from UCB School of Law, 1976.  I support the name change.  I have no particular attachment to the name Boalt Hall.
4/26/2019 9:32:04 Why not rename Washington D.C.? After all it's named for a native american killer who owned slaves...
4/26/2019 7:43:37 I believe that Elizabeth's honoring (and demonstrating her love for) her husband is belittled by changing the name.  She wanted to honor the memory of her husband and now the school is setting itself against her wishes.  I think when the school accepted the money, and did not do so because it agreed with or endorsed her husband's views,  to change the name goes against at least one principle the school respects - fulfilling your part of a bargain.
4/25/2019 9:47:16 This country is full of monuments, memorials, nods, and odes to historical figures with checkered pasts (at best) or bigotry (at worst) when it comes to racism. Two of the four presidents on Mount Rushmore owned slaves; Andrew Jackson is on the $20 bill despite owning as many as 161 slaves and committing genocide of native peoples.

The country is grappling with its insistence that these figures and others like them be honored and remembered. The horrors these figures perpetuated, supported, or ignored given their active contribution to or benefits derived from white supremacy are public knowledge. Somehow, even into the 21st Century, this debate still rages.

However, we must know the debate is not merely esoteric. Our brothers and sisters of color watch us debate, and wonder how it could be possible that a person who thought races inferior can be given the benefit of the doubt. Support of historical white supremacists continues to harm all of us: not merely students of color. It implies to students of color that white supremacy was justified because a figure was able to give money to the school. People of color have not historically been afforded the same benefit of the doubt; it confuses me why rich donors and powerful figures are granted such leeway.

Take the name off. There are hundreds of other Berkeley graduates who have made tremendous impact in society, without the pock mark of racism and white supremacy attached to their legacy. There are better names to represent this institution's values, courage, and future.

I appreciate that this process is taking place, and thank the Committee for its time and careful consideration.
4/24/2019 18:21:46 I am a 1972 graduate of Boalt Hall. Frankly, at the time I knew very little about John Boalt, other than that he was a late 19th-century California lawyer. I was saddened to learn that he strongly supported Chinese Exclusion, a position that was unfortunately much too common at the time. I was born and raised in San Francisco and lived there most of my life, until moving to Virginia two years ago for personal and family reasons. I grew up with Chinese-American kids, and was blessed to count one family in particular as very dear friends in my last year of college, throughout law school, and beyond.

Recently I Googled “Boalt Hall” and found the following link:

Actually, it is a sad story. It sounds like his wife was trying to preserve his memory, not honor his racist political views. Wealthy Victorian widows frequently used their late husbands’ money to endow colleges. My wife’s alma mater, Russell Sage College in upstate New York, was named by the widow of a “minor robber baron” after her late husband. Russell Sage worked with the notorious financier Jay Gould to take over the Union Pacific Railroad. Mrs. Sage used his money to honor his name, despite the fact that Sage was considered by some to be a miser (he refused to pay any money to a clerk who was wounded in an attempt to assassinate him) and was reputably a philanderer. To this day Russell Sage College remains a women’s college. To the best of my knowledge, there are no plans to change the name.

I can understand why people today wish to rename the law school (although frankly, “Berkeley Law” sounds like the name of a television program), but could we not at least have a plaque explaining the history of the school, why it was called “Boalt Hall” for almost a century, and why the name was changed? Otherwise, we are erasing our own history, warts and all.
Respectfully submitted,
Roger Ritter, ‘72 

4/23/2019 17:23:20 I am not in favor of changing the name as I wasn't  when Berkeley Law was adopted.  I went nearly 50 years before learning that Mrs. Boalt was not the primary benefactor of the school; I knew little about her and absolutely nothing about her husband. There is no shame in my mind that must be redressed.

To change of the name now panders to the political correctness and sensibilities of current or recent students to the disregard of generations of graduates who revere their law school.  It doesn't belong just to them.  If these recent students are offended, I would prefer that they transfer to other law schools rather than assert proprietary demands over Boalt Hall.

This whole issue to me is analogous to the furor of students protesting that a teacher should not teach a class, say on slavery or, yes, the construction of the intercontinental railroad, because they they find the subject upsetting or distasteful.  Or a demand that an invitation extended to a speaker should be withdrawn because students disagree with  what they anticipate the speaker will say. 

Where where is the respect for academic freedom, freedom of speech, the heritage of an institution orfor recognition of changing and evolving times if we allow these moral thunderbolts whenever they find a person, a point of view, an historical event event not to their liking. 

For fear of offense, Dean Chemerinsky kowtowing  - and I use that term intentionally - to loud and shrill demands.  As did Dean Edley, he is making his recommendation after "a thorough discussion on this topic with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and supporters of Berkeley Law" - but not with me nor with any Boalt Hall graduate that I know.   

This is Boalt Hall, the law school of the University of California, of the Great State of California.  Where are the leaders, men or women, to match our mountains?  Bill Polkinghorn, Class of 1970.
4/23/2019 17:18:54 I am not in favor of changing the name as I wasn't  when Berkeley Law was adopted.  I went nearly 50 years before learning that Mrs. Boalt was not the primary benefactor of the school; I knew little about her and absolutely nothing about her husband. There is no shame in my mind that must be redressed.

To change of the name now panders to the political correctness and sensibilities of current or recent students to the disregard of generations of graduates who revere their law school.  It doesn't belong just to them.  If these recent students are offended, I would prefer that they transfer to other law schools rather than assert proprietary demands over Boalt Hall.

This whole issue to me is analogous to the furor of students protesting that a teacher should not teach a class, say on slavery or, yes, the construction of the intercontinental railroad, because they they find the subject upsetting or distasteful.  Or a demand that an invitation extended to a speaker should be withdrawn because students disagree with  what they anticipate the speaker will say. 

Where where is the respect for academic freedom, freedom of speech, the heritage of an institution orfor recognition of changing and evolving times if we allow these moral thunderbolts whenever they find a person, a point of view, an historical event event not to their liking. 

For fear of offense, Dean Chemerinsky kowtowing  - and I use that term intentionally - to loud and shrill demands.  As did Dean Edley, he is making his recommendation after "a thorough discussion on this topic with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and supporters of Berkeley Law" - but not with me nor with any Boalt Hall graduate that I know.   

This is Boalt Hall, the law school of the University of California, of the Great State of California.  Where are the leaders, men or women, to match our mountains?  Bill Polkinghorn, Class of 1970.
4/23/2019 14:18:15 As a compromise, de-name it as BOALT HALL, denounce it as an honorific,  call it BOLT HALL,  and register a US service mark specifically saying that BOLT does not refer to the name of anyone living or deceased.
4/23/2019 13:24:22 I think it's ridiculous that we are erasing history in this country. Thought police on patrol all the way back to an era that thought differently and acted differently from today.  Orwellian. Wrong.  Every member of the committee that agreed to name the building after Boalt - no, every member of the faculty at that time - should be erased from the School's history, too.  They should have known better. Those horrible people lived in 1950, so they had the benefit of time to research and understand John Boalt.  Shame on them.  
4/22/2019 15:38:13 I strongly favor this proposal.  It is time.
4/22/2019 13:00:57 I support Boalt alumni who also recommend retention of then Boalt name
4/22/2019 11:42:14 I have seen, read and agree with the comments submitted to you on April 20, 2019 by Peter Munoz, Carl Stoney and Brad Barber.  
4/22/2019 11:36:49 The Law School assembled an ad-hoc committee of students, staff, faculty, and alumni that undertook important research and canvassed stakeholder opinions regarding continued use of the "Boalt" name. At bottom, this is a question of moral and ethical values. Should the University continue to honor a segregationist and racist with no real connection to UC (or Berkeley) other than his wife's bequest? My hope is that the Building Name Review Committee agrees that it would be inappropriate to continue to honor someone whose conduct failed to comport with the University's core values.

Some will caution against judging past figures who were "products of their time" against the ethical and political values of contemporary society. But that's a red herring when it comes to determining who should be honored through the naming and dedication of campus sites. John Boalt's writings and legislative advocacy led California to attempt to ban Asian immigration and culminated in the passage of the federal Chinese Exclusion Act. As an alumna from one of the communities that was barred access to the United States and suffered catastrophic humanitarian consequences from that ban, I can see no reason to elevate or laud the Boalt name. We can certainly study and critique John Boalt's writings and career without giving him the additional honor of naming a building for him. Aside from nostalgia, there are very few reasons to maintain the name Boalt Hall, and many more good reasons to remove the "Boalt" name from campus buildings.

Finally, although I've heard complaints or concerns related to branding (i.e., that attorneys are more familiar with the "Boalt" name than "Berkeley"), I haven't seen evidence to back up those claims. With the caveat that my experiences are anecdotal and not the best available data, I've practiced in California and other states for eight years, and very few people except other Berkeley Law alumni refer to the program or law school as "Boalt." Use of "Boalt" and "Boalties" appears to be limited to law school alumni, who often use the name as a sign of affection or affinity when speaking to other alumni. The greater legal community appears to refer to us as "UC Berkeley School of Law" or "Berkeley Law." From what I can tell, ejecting the Boalt name likely will not have an impact on our notoriety, branding, alumni relations, or donations.
4/22/2019 11:05:03 I  have  opposed  this  all along  in   my  comments  to  the  dean.It  disregards  the  facts about  how  the  school  got   named. More  important it  disregards  the affiliation  of  thousands of  alumni.  
There  is  no substantive  reason  to  change  the   Buildings    name. The  effort   caters  to  its own prejudices.  Boalt   has  been in  the forefront of   all  kinds    of fighting   of  prejudice and does  not   need  to  hide  anything in  its  past
4/22/2019 10:44:26 Dear Dean Chemerinsky: With all due respect, my classmates and I hope you will reconsider your intention to remove the Boalt Hall name from the west wing of the Berkeley Law campus. The Class of 1965 is nearly unanimous is its opposition. While we abhor the racist remarks made by Elizabeth Boalt's husband John, we take great pride in being graduates of Boalt Hall, the name our alma mater has been known by nationally for many decades. I have lived all over the US as well as in Germany and Vietnam and everywhere I have lived people I've met have respected the name Boalt and been impressed by its reputation. Michael Halloran has offered a compromise in the form of specifying Elizabeth Boalt's name for the honor, and I support that solution.
4/22/2019 10:18:18 From: Michael Halloran
Sent: Sunday, April 21, 2019 11:55 PM
To: Erwin Chemerinsky <>
Cc:; Mary Matheron <>; Stephanie Deaner <>;; Ret. Judge Brian R. Van Camp <>;;
Subject: RE: Changing the School name

Erwin: I too have enjoyed our exchanges , and hope one day to discuss my favorite: Constitutional Law, with you. I am reading your recent book -- Free Speech on Campus, which you gave me at the scholarship luncheon two weeks ago--  with great interest. As your predicted  , yes, I agree with a great deal of it. And, no , I will never cease making contributions to support the students of our school regardless of what happens, like the contribution I made a few weeks ago.

But yes, we disagree –and most members of my law school class disagree—on removing the Boalt name from the school. I have directed and supervised large groups of lawyers in various institutions since graduation. I found that when problems of this sort arose, the conflict was reduced, satisfaction was obtained, and the groups of lawyers moved successfully on, when a simple solution was adopted: compromise. I think doing that is the mark of a good leader, particularly a leader  of lawyers. But, as I have stated , your decision involved no compromise. The name is to go. It is on the side of the law school building, That will come down. Elsewhere as well.

So some of us offered a good compromise: name the law school after the actual donor: the Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt School of Law. There is no evidence she discriminated against anyone. She was revered by the then Chancellor of UC Berkeley and included in many  high level campus events. Try compromise, it is the best course.

As to your oft stated mantra that the school has never been named anything other than the University of California, School of Law, I think that is technical and beside the point. The Boalt Law School name has been used -and without Campus objection- ever since Elizabeth made the contribution to build the school over 100 years ago in 1911. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of alumni have made sizable contribution to the school  through the major fund held out by the school for unrestricted contributions: The Boalt Hall Fund. The school is referred to world wide as Boalt Hall. I actually have no objection to it being called Berkeley Law too—maybe that helps us internationally with contributions.  But it is not the common and loved name used for our law school in the US. Gigi ( my good and liberal wife, UC ’64) was kidding me tonight that maybe you should hold a similar investigation of  Mr. Haas of the Haas Business School and other schools that bear names of individuals even though technically they are named the University of California, School of Business and like names.

One of my classmates made a good point in this recent discourse: since when is it that we attach guilt by association-- to a woman for the unfortunate activities of her husband? In all the institutions which I have led or been a part of, we would never do such a thing for fear of moral outcry and backlash( when I became General Counsel of Bank of America  the Bank would refuse to issue credits cards to women on the grounds of the unfortunate credit history of their husbands. We got killed in the press for that. We stopped it.)  But I think that is what your recommendation to remove the Boalt name does. The women of our class are opposed to removal of the Boalt name, prefer the approach I recommend. There is another reason: they were proud to go to a law school named after a woman—the only one in America. It is unfortunate your recommendation would take that away from the women of Boalt. Kindly reconsider Erwin, or at least make a fair and balanced presentation to the Campus Naming Committee and the Chancellor of the views of those that opposed deleting the Boalt name—and , like a good leader, suggest a compromise.

I sometimes worry people might consider those who oppose your decision to be  political Neanderthals for our views on this. Not so. I am actually a child of the 60s—of the UC Berkeley Free Speech Movement, in which I was involved. I learned about defending free speech on the ground, while in law school. And, our classmates who are now vocally opposing your decision to remove the Boalt name are avowed liberals, conservatives, women, men, minorities—of all stripes, who think that is the wrong thing to do, and that a compromise is in order.

Michael J. Halloran
p  307-222-6677
m 415-307-4124

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From: Erwin Chemerinsky <>
Sent: Sunday, April 21, 2019 8:33 AM
To: Michael Halloran <>
Cc:; Mary Matheron <>; Stephanie Deaner <>;; Ret. Judge Brian R. Van Camp <>;
Subject: Re: Changing the School name

Dear Mike,

I respect your opinion and have enjoyed our exchanges on the topic.    I know that there are very strong feelings on both sides and that any decision will upset many people.  I did not come to my decision lightly.  I spent months agonizing over it and often changed my mind.  Yet in the end, for the reasons expressed in my letter to the community, I was convinced that the right thing to do was to no longer use the Boalt name for our building and internal organizations, but to find appropriate ways to remember the generosity of Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt and the racism expressed by John Boalt.

To be clear as to your suggestion:  the law school never has been named anything other than University of California, Berkeley School of Law.    It never was considered that we should name the law school, as you suggest, Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt School of Law.  We are not proposing changing the name of the law school in any way.

My hope is that those who disagree with me will decide to support our students and direct their gifts to scholarships for them.  I am grateful that you made this choice.   I hope others will as well and not punish our students because of my decision.  (And, of course, the name of the building is ultimately up to the Chancellor and University President; they may choose to overrule my recommendation).


From: Michael Halloran <>
Date: Sunday, April 21, 2019 at 5:56 AM
To: Erwin Chemerinsky <>
Cc: "" <>, Mary Matheron <>, Stephanie Deaner <>, "" <>, "Ret. Judge Brian R. Van Camp" <>, "" <>
Subject: Re: Changing the School name

Erwin: I fear your position to remove the name is costing the school dearly . Our class, women , liberals , conservatives , are voting unanimously to oppose your decision and are making their views known to the naming committee and the Chancellor . I think your 1000 comments favoring removal of the name will be a minority shortly . I would like to see and verify those 1000 comments and make sure they went to the naming committee and are not as hoc.

I fail to see why you will not accept the Halloran Compromise: name the School the Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt School Of Law. Otherwise I fear you are doing significant damage to our school.

Sent from my mobile device

Michael J. Halloran
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On Apr 21, 2019, at 6:40 AM, Erwin Chemerinsky <> wrote:
Dear Mr. Posell,
Stephanie forwarded your message to me.  I am sorry that you disagree with my decision concerning the Boalt name and that you have decided to change your gift.  I tried hard to solicit as much feedback as possible and received altogether almost 1,000 comments from alumni.  A significant majority favored not using the Boalt name on the building or organizations within the law school.  (The law school never was officially called anything other than University of California, Berkeley School of Law.)  But my point in writing is not to persuade you that I made the right decision, but rather to ask you not to punish our students because you disagree with my choice.  Because the state provides so little in the way of support, our tuition now is about $50,000 a year.  I hope you will consider directing your gift to scholarships for students so they can have what you received:  a legal education at Berkeley without crushing debt.
I am glad to talk with you about the name or other issues.
Warm regards,

From: Stephanie Deaner <>
Date: Saturday, April 20, 2019 at 6:04 PM
To: <>
Cc: <>
Subject: Fwd: Changing the School name
Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:
From: Richard Posell <>
Date: April 20, 2019 at 5:57:05 PM PDT
To: Stephanie Deaner <>
Cc: Michael Halloran <>
Subject: Changing the School name
I was disappointed when the smart people running the Law School thought it would be wise to change the name of the Law School to a name none of its alumni wanted and that no one has ever heard of.  I assume you have been following the proposal to now remove the name “Boalt Hall “ from the Law School building because Elizabeth Boalt’s husband was a jerk. A flurry of emails from the class of ’65  has demonstrated universal opposition to this bewildering and insensitive proposal.  I don’t know if the mere condemnation by the former Solicitor General of the United States and the founders of two of the most important law firms in the State will make any difference.  Perhaps the loss of significant donations will be more convincing.
For that reason, if the name “Boalt Hall”  is removed from the Law School building, I will cancel my pledge of $100,000 and change my trust documents accordingly.  Feel free to pass this on to the people who decide this stuff.
Richard Posell
Boalt Hall School of Law, Class of 1965
4/22/2019 8:52:57 I enthusiastically endorse Dean Chemerinsky's recommendation.  I appreciate that it is based on considerable research and reflection by Dean Chemerinsky and by the internal Committee on the Use of the Boalt Name. 
4/21/2019 18:01:11 Keep ther Boalt name
4/21/2019 16:33:03 Recognizing that the Dean's recommendation was well-intentioned, it illustrates the risk of applying politically-correct solutions to complex historical situations.   While Mr. Boalt was clearly a bad-actor by modern-day guidelines, I hear no criticism of his wife, who is the actual benefactor of our fine law school.  I'm sorry, but striking her name from our institution to get back at her husband smacks of a serious case of sexism.  I commend Mike Halloran for his compromise.   His solution is exactly what fits the situation.  Boalt Hall was and is a great institution, and I'm very proud to be a graduate.  "Boalt Hall" has a resonance "Berkeley Law" does not.
4/21/2019 12:58:19
I have read the background material on the Boalt Hall name issue.

I believe the best and only sane approach is to implement the Halloran Compromise proposal:

Take action to address the problem raised by the words and actions of John Boalt but DO NOT accomplish this by removing the Boalt name from building or the INstitution.  Name / Rename the building to honor the true benefactor Ms. E. J. Boalt. 

From reading the comments of my classmates I understand that a core impetus for the whole renaming issue is to get a ‘modern’ sounding name for the INstitution and its component parts.  Whom-so-ever is pursuing this path has not done their due diligence.  

Since leaving Boalt and Berkeley in the early summer of 1965 my professional practice has been outside the field of law.  See Bio / CV page at   

My experience is that association with the University of California is very positive, with “Berkeley”, not so much. 

Berkeley is associated with one end of the political spectrum.  We were all in Berkeley during the Free Speech Movement.  I am proud of my contribution to this event.  However, at this point, perhaps more than ever, the planet and the nation-state needs broad minded consensus builders not True Believers (as Chair of the Speakers Forum I invited Eric Hoffer to speak at Boalt)

Do the right thing and honor Ms. Boalt.

4/21/2019 8:18:09 I am proud of having attended Boalt.  I have never associated Boalt with John Boalt, about whom nothing has been known to generations of law students and alumni.  I have seen Boalt only as the moniker of academic stimulation and achievement. To dump the name is to erase part of the glory of the law school, not to erase John Boalt’s racism.  
4/20/2019 14:37:12 Why don't you wait a few more years, and then there won't be anyone left to insult with this idiotic proposal. Many of us older folks rather fancy the Boalt name or what is left of it.
4/20/2019 12:02:32 I support Dean Chemerinsky's effort to make Berkeley Law an inclusive, top, national law school.
4/20/2019 10:30:36 I join so many classmates, many from the class of 1965, who oppose the proposed name change. The name honors - and should continue to honor - Elizabeth Boalt who made her gift to the law school years after her husband - whose odious comments about Chinese immigration - is the source of the present proposed change. Adding Mrs Boalt's full name to the law school is a compromise worthy of consideration.
4/20/2019 9:41:36 This response from a member of the Boalt Hall Class of 1965 could be viewed as just a group of now elderly graduates reflecting nostalgically on their experiences at Boalt Hall and not being in touch with "modern" or "current" trends.  But the response should better be viewed as a comment recalling a sound and firm tradition with Boalt Hall who's reputation is grounded in excellence.  We are and have been proud to say that we are graduates of Boalt Hall and all graduates to date can have a similar nostalgia and reflection.                                   And is it necessary to have a "new name" because someone doesn't know what Boalt Hall means?  Clearly no.  For those without business school familiarity what would the names "Wharton", "Haas", "Sloan", " Kellog" or "Tuck" mean?                                                                     The name of a school triggers memories, devotion, camaraderie and distinction.  And so long as the name doesn't trigger prejudice, evil or divisive behavior  --- and certainly Josselyn Boalt does none of the above  --- there is no sound reason for change.                       It is too easy these days to adopt a knee jerk reaction to change  - "change and more modern must be good" without focusing on perhaps the more important considerations of tradition, distinction or reputation.   Change only for change sake is needless, disruptive, perhaps expensive and a violation of tradition.                                                                             There are thousands of Boalt Hall graduates who have been proud alumni, and there can continue to be graduates of Boalt Hall who will be or become proud and important alumni.  There is good reason not to change and deny them that distinction.         
4/20/2019 7:46:38 I completely support the well reasoned comments of Jerry Falk and others to keep the name Boalt Hall
4/20/2019 7:35:42 I agree with my classmates letter from Mike Halloran,et al and from Jerry Falk.
4/19/2019 21:57:34 "Boalt Hall School of Law" need not be changed, but it should be realized by today's students and administrators that the name always has been associated with Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt, the benefactor. In the event it is deemed necessary to distance the school from racist remarks of her husband, John Boalt, changing the name to "Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt School of Law, University of California, Berkeley" (or simply "Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt School of Law") credits the generosity of the donor and preserves the tradition and name of the law school.

The name "Boalt" has meant Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt to the students of the law school for over a century. A name commemorating specifically her avoids any hint of moral approbation of her husband's odious remarks - remarks he may very well feel are wrong were he alive today and living in today's conditions and society.

Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt's presence as the person behind the building's name has been felt and seen throughout the years. Her donation allowed the school to be formed. Her portrait hangs prominently above the balcony overlooking the main reading room in the library; a plaque commemorating her gift and honoring her, a plaque donated more than a hundred years ago by the Class of 1917, is displayed in the main hallway. Her husband, John Boalt, had been forgotten until recent research identified him with making racist anti-Chinese remarks in support of the Chinese Exclusion Acts. Elizabeth Boalt's name should continue to be remembered in the name of the school, The specific addition of her first and middle names would make clear what has been understood for decades and thus also distance the school from the remarks of her husband.

Thank you for considering these thoughts.
4/19/2019 18:55:36 I agree entirely with the comments made by Jerome Falk and Michael J. Halloran, but there is no point in simply repeating the arguments already expressed so well by them.  The name of the law school should be the  Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt School of Law. The Boalt name should be retained.
4/19/2019 18:05:20 apart from my sentimental attachment to the name of the law school I attended and have supported ever since, I think ripping the name off because of the donor's husband's odious attitudes on race is unwise for a fundamental practical reason.  As this case illustrates,  attQuiteitudes change over time.  What may have been acceptable in Mr. Boalt's world and social circle has become anathema in our time.  While it is certainly acceptable for a public university to reject donations and naming from someone whose views or conduct are by present standards offensive, it is quite another thing to apply the standards and values of a society living a century or two hence.  Imposing moral judgments ex post facto may or may not be unfair in any given case, but the risk that one's name might be ripped off a building or a plaque in some future era would surely make a rational donor think twice about making a substantial gift that includes naming rights.

Moreover, the idea of punishing the memory of Mrs. Elizabeth J. Boalt for the heinous opinions of Mr. Boalt shouldn't sit well with anybody, and especially not with those who do not view women as the ornament of their husbands.  Of all the institutions that ought to understand and honor that principle, Boalt Hall ought to be at the head of the line.
4/19/2019 16:07:30 I am appalled by all the emotional energy being expended on a naming issue over a 100 years in the past.  I wish we would devote our attention to more current accomplishments of our law school.  To the politically correct crowd which has its collective panties in a twist over the political positions taken by a man who has been dead for over 100 years I say get a life.  I am reconciled to the fact that in the present invironment of panic and revulsion the decision is most likely a done deal.  Pander to these alarmists if you must but be advised that come what may I will always be a proud alumni of the Boalt school of Law.
James C. SNELL LLB 1965
4/19/2019 15:36:52 I am a member of the Boalt Hall Class of 1965.  My undergraduate education at UC Berkeley, and especially my law school training at Boalt Hall, contributed significantly to my professional career both as a corporate attorney, and as an Executive Director of the American Bar Association.  Being a graduate of "Boalt Hall" was, and in my opinion continues to be, a highly respected and valued credential within the legal profession. 

I have followed with interest the proposal to discontinue the name "Boalt Hall" with respect to what is also now known as "Berkeley Law".  I understand this is based on viewing certain actions taken by John Boalt in the late 1800s that, measured by contemporary norms, would be considered entirely inappropriate.  While I understand that assessment, it is my sincere belief that it is even more inappropriate to evaluate conduct outside of the context of its historical time frame.  That would seem to be especially true here, where the actual grantee of the initial funding for Boalt Hall was made by John Boalt's wife several years after his death.

It would be a source of deep disappointment should the current law school administration's recommendation to remove the valued and revered name of "Boalt" from the law school.  I suspect many of its graduates who have long benefited with the association with "Boalt Hall" would feel a strong sense of "disconnect" from their alma mater.  I would strongly encourage the Committee to avoid making such an unwelcome mistake.
4/19/2019 14:27:52 Dear Sirs and Mesdames:

My name is Michael J. Halloran and I am a 1965 Graduate of Boalt Hall School of Law at UC Berkeley, and a 1962 graduate of the School of Engineering(B.S.M.E.) as well. Allow me to say first that I credit the Engineering School and the Law School with allowing me to pursue a gratifying and interesting career, in private practice, inside a Fortune 50 Company , and in government service.

I write you today because I know our Dean Erwin Chemerinsky has placed before you the question whether Boalt Hall School of Law should no longer bear the name Boalt. I urge you not to do that. Alternatively, and as an excellent compromise solution, I encourage you to name it the Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt School of Law, who contributed the funds to  build the School in 1911 and was revered by all at Berkeley for several years. I understand the School was named Berkeley Law by a prior Dean, but Boalt Hall appears prominently at the School and should remain so.

This naming question arose from an article in the San Francisco Chronicle about 2 years ago going over the history of John Boalt, Elizabeth’s husband, who died 6 years before she made the gift to build the School. That history traced his involvement in the Chinese Exclusion Act, and anti-Chinese immigrant articles he wrote at the time in the late 1800s. I cannot justify his conduct in that regard and do not try to, other than to note that was well over 120 years ago, as usual the argument was over low wages produced by immigrants, and times were different. The exclusion was put in the California Constitution, but went on to be adopted Federally in 1882—it was in fact our first immigration law. It is law no more. After publication of the San Francisco Chronicle article there was considerable sentiment, particularly from Asian students in the law School, against the continuing use of the name. Dean Chemerinsky held a Town Hall on the subject at the School in February of last year at which many of us , on both sides of the issue, spoke. The Dean appointed a Committee to study the issue. The Committee in September voted to eliminate the Boalt name and the Dean accepted the recommendation and placed the matter before you. While compromise was proposed none was adopted in the Committee or Dean’s recommendation.

The Boalt name is revered by 100s of Boalt Alumni over many years—who oppose eliminating the name Boalt . When I was studying at Boalt the then small number of women at the School( now 60% plus of the Law School) revered the name—they thought the school was named after a woman , the only such law school in America. That remains true today. The name has acquired a secondary meaning in our popular culture, as a School that produces very bright graduates who excel after they graduate,  and is referred to by the Boalt name nationally, in TV shows, plays, movies, books and is entitled to respect as such.

The picture of Elizabeth Boalt hangs in the law school library , and I do not know the plans for removal of that, but I believe along with many , many of my fellow Boalt Alumni and Alumnae that the name should be preserved where it is now on the outside wall of the school. And, it could be renamed the Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt School of Law which we think is appropriate and fitting.

I am copying one of my classmates, Brian Van Camp, who was UC Berkeley Student Body President when I was there, our Class President at Boalt, and went on to become California Secretary of State and a respected Judge on the Superior Court in Sacramento. He is merely one of the 100s of Alums who agree with my position. It is our position.

If you would like us to appear before you on this subject, we would be happy to do so.

Mike Halloran, Boalt ‘65

Michael J. Halloran
m 415-307-4124<><>

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4/19/2019 11:48:54 Cal needs to be wary of starting down this “name removal” slope.  Who will be next?  Earl Warren?  For over a century law students have attended Boalt Hall not to honor John Boalt but because “Boalt Hall” (officially in my time University of California School of Law, Berkeley (Boalt Hall) had acquired a justified reputation as the premier law school on the West Coast and one of the very best in the Nation. 
Patrick S. Hobin, Cal ‘59 Boalt Hall ‘65
4/19/2019 9:47:21 We need to put an end to this nonsense of going through historical figures’ lives with a 21st-century fine-toothed comb (as if our sensibilities are innately superior and are immune to ridicule in a future century).  These historical figures were largely good people, living in the context of their times.  However, if Mr. Boalt (and others similarly indicted) are indeed so despicable, we should cleanse ourselves thoroughly and do what Hillary Clinton did with Mr. Weinstein’s donation:  give it to a needy charity.  I can see the building being put to excellent use as a home for transsexuals in transition. 

This type of knee-jerk and overwrought political correctness is exactly why Trump won; and, by removing Boalt’s name, you would, in some small way, be ensuring that history will repeat itself next year.


Class of 1979
4/19/2019 8:39:20 The negative history of Mr. Boalt should be addressed.  This is a measured good response.
4/19/2019 6:48:53 I am a lifetime member of the UCB Alumni Association.  I served as Program Officer for Social Justice at The San Francisco Foundation for about a decade.  I am a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.  I retired as CEO of the Common Counsel Foundation in Oakland and served until this March as a trustee.  I am also a past German Marshall Transatlantic Fellow and Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France.  I cannot understand why anyone in our generation would oppose removing Mr. Boalt’s name from the UC Law School.  He does not represent the values the school stands for.
4/18/2019 16:11:54
I  stopped giving money to Harvard when its commitment to the latest politicaly correct fad turned ludicrous.  Now Boalt is following suit.   I was amused when you spent good money to have a 'branding expert'  tell you to change the school's name to 'Berkeley Law.'  Quo usque ad tandem...?  Mike Beyer  '76
4/18/2019 16:04:08 My initial feeling about the proposed name change to Berkeley Law, before the issue of Mr. Boalt’s talk on the Chinese came up, was that it displayed a lack of confidence, as though someone somehow thought that Boalt Hall was not well-known enough and sought to give it a marketing boost.

After having read the text of Mr. Boalt’s talk and reflected on the situation, I continue to feel that it would be inappropriate to change the name.  Although revisionism may be tempting, removal of the name disgraces the family and puts into question the motives and values of the individuals of the UC Berkeley leadership who knew Elizabeth and John Boalt personally and made the decision to name the law school after him.

Instead of removing the name, I see this as an opportunity to consider John Boalt’s mistakes and to lead efforts to further immigration justice, an opportunity for the law school leadership and potential donors to step away from political correctness and into action, for example, by endowing a chair that would focus on human rights and immigration.

I also feel that changing the name would undermine advancement efforts.  For example, taking the name “Haas” from the School of Business or “Booth” from UChicago’s business school would be counterproductive.  When making their commitments, current donors must be able to rely on the university's word.
4/18/2019 16:00:43 I am in support of the Dean's proposal, and I hope the Committee decides to honor the legacy of an individual that dedicated his/her life to fight bigotry, intolerance, and racism. 
4/18/2019 13:27:40 Abraham Lincoln favored sending newly freed slaves to another country, as did U.S. Grant, both of whom fought tirelessly and heroically to free them. Both men thought the white and black races should never mix and that blacks were inferior. Should their names be removed from buildings and schools named in their honor? I doubt Mrs. Boalt was unaware of her husband's views and most likely shared and supported them. To suggest otherwise is to suggest because she was female she should be forgiven for being docile, subservient and incapable of speaking her own mind. The name Boalt as associated with the Law School transcends the failings of the man for whom the school is named and should be retained to honor all who graduated from the School.
4/17/2019 22:13:47 I support Dean Chemerinsky's proposal
4/17/2019 20:34:45 I'm exceedingly proud of Dean Chemerinsky's process and undertaking in dealing with the issue to remove the name Boalt Hall.  It was critical to allowing all in the Berkeley Law community an opportunity to voice their opinions.  However, as an alumnae of color, on principle I fully support removal of the name Boalt Hall. 
4/17/2019 15:19:26 I've known a lot of terrible people with children, but very few children who have chosen to change their own name. Amerigo Vespucci was a big liar but a great storyteller, so I'm an American. Washington and Jefferson and the rest were all such-and-such. But I'm their child too. The law we learn is their child too.
I am not where I started when I first became a Boaltie. I am transformed. The hope Boalt Law had for me was to transform situations around me. I believe I can. I believe in transformation. I'll grant it to those in the past as well as I hope for it in the future.
George Orwell's specter of thought control through vocabuley is much more frightening than the long-dead ghost of John Boalt's ignorant words. We spent good years under the roof of Elizabeth Boalt's generosity. Let that endure.
Finally, put a price on it. If our heritage is to become nameless, at least disclose how much you expect to collect to rename it. Then tell us the virtue of what you'll do with the money. Let us debate virtues not villainize the dead. And if making a villain of Boalt is necessary to maximize its value, God have mercy. It wasn't that long ago British Petroleum was going to buy a building at our top-10 environmental law school. Remember that? Right before the Deepwater Horizon? If you're going to remarry for money, I demand to know the price of my name.
4/17/2019 14:05:07 I may be a "lone voice crying in the wilderness" but I suspect that I'm not alone in my opposition to the evisceration of the Boalt name including removing the name Boalt Hall from a building on the Berkeley Law campus.  If polled, I would not be surprised to see that a majority of my generation of Boalt alumni would also be opposed to the evisceration of the Boalt name, in association with "Berkeley Law," together with the experiences and memories the Boalt name brings to mind completely divorced from any reference to John or Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt.  I make reference to the letter I sent to Dean Chermerinsky dated November 14, 2018 which was prompted by the Dean's "Dear Berkeley Law Community" letter of November 13, 2018 regarding the BOALT Evisceration project.  That letter expresses my concerns regarding the negative impact of the Dean's pioneering efforts to eviscerate the Boalt name in the face of losing the support and affection of this Boalt alumnus and others re their law school of yore.  The letter also characterizes the background and basis for my opposition.  What also concerns and astounds me is the power of the "Johnny Come Latelies," Dean Chemerinsky and the "now" generation of Berkeley Law (Boalt) students seemingly offended by the Boalt name without considering the positive allure of that name alone relative to the experiences and memories of generations of Boalt alumni who have gone before.  This clearly demonstrates the tyranny of the majority genuflecting at the altar of political correctness without consideration for the past experiences of Boalt alumni which I touched upon in my letter to Dean Chemerinsky last November.  If you would like a copy of the letter referred to above, please advise.
4/17/2019 12:17:42 Boalt Hall does not need to be renamed and should not be. The past should be a source of knowledge and perspective, not a grievance mine. No doubt there will be endless cycles of renaming as past figures are evaluated by present-day standards. Will the university be any better off as a result? As a Magic 8-ball would say, "All signs point to no." 
4/17/2019 11:08:52 My PhD, my MA and my AB are all from Berkeley. I took Civil and Constitutional Rights of Immigrants in the law school from Lucas Guttentag. I am a lifetime Alumni Association member. I was unaware until now of any detail of John Boalt's life, ideology or writings, but I strongly support removing his name from the building. His writings are 180 degrees in opposition to everything that UC Berkeley should stand for.
4/17/2019 10:59:46 Very good choice. Past injustices cannot be rectified, but we should not honor names of people associated with past injustices.
4/17/2019 10:56:49 Times change.  The question presented is not whether it was a good idea a long time ago for the University to accept money from Ms. Boalt to honor her spouse.  The question today is whether continuing to honor Mr. Boalt needlessly makes some students, faculty, and alumni feel unwelcome.  The answer is yes.  Let's put out the welcome mat (by removing the unwelcome mat).  The school will be stronger for it.
4/17/2019 9:44:03 Expecting to skim the Town Hall video for expected and predictable arguments on both sides, I was both informed and impressed by all the speakers.  On balance, I support Dean Chemerinsky's proposal.  I also support the broader consensus that the change should occasion an ongoing discussion of history and social change rather than a self-serving exercise in distancing the institution from a past that lives on in our culture.  To paraphrase William Faulkner (since I don't feel like looking up the exact quote), the past isn't buried ashes; it isn't even past. 

Lew Hollman, Class of 1973
4/17/2019 8:23:46 This seems like a good plan.  It's a worthy statement of a commitment to equal justice principles that have been ignored in the past, but are ever with us.  I will say that I and other alumni have already started not using the Boalt name and are going with Berkeley Law School.  I say this as a California native for whom the Boalt name always stood for the law school and who felt the notion of changing the official name to something generic as Berkeley Law School to accommodate parochial east coasters was silly (and paying a consultant to do this even more so.). Still, as much as I like the old name, changing it is the right thing to do. Who knows, maybe we can name the school after an illustrious alum.  Earl Warren leaps to mind. 

Many thanks for taking this up
4/17/2019 7:25:56 I am perfectly comfortable with the renaming proposal.
4/16/2019 23:28:25 There are many aspects of our nation's and our state's history that call for reconsideration and reconciliation for the pain caused to those who are not Caucasions.  Dropping the Boalt name is a minor, but important aspect of this acknowledgement and reconciliation process.  It is a small price to pay, in my opinion,  for alums and others  to relinquish their pride in and identification of their legal credentials with the now anachronistic name.
4/16/2019 22:12:28 This name change is the right thing to do.
4/16/2019 20:32:39 This seems both long overdue and carefully analyzed. Thanks to Dean Chemerinsky for his leadership on this issue. As a "Boalt Hall" alumnus, now all I'll have to do is change my resume accordingly. 
4/16/2019 20:24:20 I support Dean Chemerinsky's proposal to remove the name Boalt Hall.
4/16/2019 18:51:25 I hope we can change the name to Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt Hall, or "Boalt Hall" for short.
4/16/2019 17:23:55 Thank you for keeping the law school community involved.
4/16/2019 17:02:14 PLEASE CONSIDER: BARBARA NACHTRIEB ARMSTRONG...The first woman to become a professor at a major American law school. Barbara Nachtrieb Armstrong, a member of the Class of 1915, was a faculty member at Boalt Hall from 1919 until 1957.
4/16/2019 16:26:50 There is no valid reason to remove the name of Boalt Hall.  Thousands of graduates, faculty and staff, and others, have used it over the years.  Elizabeth Josslyn Boalt gave the seed money in honor of her husband, John Boalt, who apparently held some political views that are out of favor today but reflected the tenor of the times.   I am opposed to removing names of people who had flaws but also did good things from buildings and other places unless the flaws were so egregious as to warrant their removal (e.g., Hitler).  Elizabeth Boalt and her husband, John, are not in this category. 
Jack Hug, proud to be J.D., Boalt Hall, 1966.
4/16/2019 15:20:12 The building is the last reminder of the law school named Boalt Hall.  Many generations of lawyers, myself included, have proudly identified as Boalt grads.  The name Boalt Hall means much more than any act, good or ill, of Mr. Boalt over 100 years ago.  Over the years, many outstanding legal scholars, public servants, law professors, and men and women lawyers have made all of us who went there proud to be associated with Boalt Hall.

The same is said for Rhodes Scholars.  That prestigious award does not depend on the virtue of Cecil Rhodes but upon the collective excellence of generations of scholars who are chosen for that honor.

It seems that Dean Chemerinsky is successfully rewriting history by making the words “Boalt Hall “ disappear from the law school and then from the  building by that name as well.  George Orwell is smiling from wherever he is right now.
At this moment in time, according to the Dean, only 18 % of alumni give annually Boalt’s successor Berkeley Law.  One wonders why this is so. John C. Cushman, Boalt ‘61
4/16/2019 15:04:08 I feel the Dean and the Committee have examined the question very closely.  Actually, I didn't know who John Boalt was until I read their submission.  The Law School does not need to be associated with an obvious racist.  His name should be removed from any association with the Law School.  
4/16/2019 14:47:26 I'm an alumnus of the UC Berkeley School of Law and I do not support the proposed name change. While I agree that John Boalt's comments Anti-Chinese comments derogatory and despicable, the building is not named "John Boalt Hall." Irrespective of John Boalt's faults, Elizabeth Boalt, the one who actually provided to the initial monetary contribution, was a person in her own right. It is sexist to hold her accountable for the views and/or comments of her husband.
4/16/2019 14:38:50 The building was named for the generosity of Elizabeth Boalt's window. Thousands of law students studied there and the new building also called Boalt Hall as did the law school for decades. It seems ridiculous to punish all of us and desecrate her memory for some articles her deceased husband wrote many years prior. 
4/16/2019 14:12:58 Proposing the following name:

Sather Hall
4/16/2019 13:49:46 Thankfully, i never was exposed to person behind the name "Boalt".  Following this enlightening e-mail, it's an easy call to remove the name.  This is girded by the principle that "you can only be just in your own time".  Were there a grandchild of Mr. Boalt still alive, there would be a tiny argument for keeping the name.    But even a living descendant might prefer anonymity to the ignominy his ancestor. 

In our own time, removal is just.

As for a re-naming, let's use it to raise money.  Perhaps it's via an auction of names we want.  The Libertarian Party raised $30,000 using a "naming contest" for their 4-day 2020 Convention.  Something that will last several generations, with input / bids from more people (Active Berkeley Law Alumni outnumber active Libertarian Party convention-goers), can likely raise over $1,000,000.  
4/16/2019 13:47:03 I am very much in favor of Dean Chemerinsky's proposal to remove the name Boalt Hall. It's one thing if a person who has been honored with a building name was someone who recognized their role in creating a white supremacist culture in their lifetime, renounced it, and began creating initiatives to repair the damage they had helped create. Then the building could become part of the reparations and redemption story. But in this case, the Boalt name simply smells of the persistence of white privilege and how deeply racism is embedded in American culture. The sooner it's gone from the law school, the better.  
4/16/2019 11:40:05 No doubt John Boalt was a racist. But where is the evidence Elizabeth was likewise a racist? There is none. Is her gift tainted simply because of the connection with John?
And, it makes no sense to remove the name from outside the building while leaving Elizabeth's portrait inside where students pass by it daily.
4/16/2019 9:46:41 No further comment is necessary.
4/16/2019 9:28:39 History should not be judged by the mores of today. John Boalt  should be a remembered as a racist of his times, to provide a perspective of how muched we improved and as a reminder that comfemporary acceptance does not mitigate abuses.
Better we spend our energy on our own times: the unprovocked slaughter of the Iraquies, Walling out the Hispanics, neglecting the Puerto Ricans, tolerating the bigeted political leaders, and yes, our own Regents who have excluded disadvantaged students with excessive fees and arbitrary test scores.
4/16/2019 8:43:14 I see no drawbacks, only benefits.
4/16/2019 7:53:18 Why not rename the building Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt Hall? There is nothing wrong with her name and she actually donated the money for the building.
4/16/2019 7:24:17 I am a 2015 graduate of Berkeley Law. I myself was uncertain of the path that should be taken regarding the name of the building in question, but after reviewing the robust arguments for or against it, the recommendations of the committee, and the proposal by Dean Chemerinsky, I think there is no longer room for much vacillation on this question. I emphatically support the Dean's proposal to remove the name Boalt Hall. 
4/16/2019 7:19:47 As time passes, ideally our knowledge and understanding grow. And with that growth, we must confront past actions that we now know to be hurtful, harmful, or otherwise wrong -- whether we should have known such at the time or not. With the current climate, including the rise of bigotry and racism, hate speech, and violence, it is now particularly important that we make clear that we will not tolerate these things in the present, nor will we honor them and those who participated in them as historical artifacts of our past. Berkeley Law, and Berkeley generally, are institutions that have always, to me, striven to value diversity and demonstrate inclusiveness and respect. We have come to learn, or perhaps simply be reminded, that the name "Boalt" is associated with racist ideas -- ideas that are offensive and hurtful to our Asian and Asian-American, Black, and Native American communities, from students, to professors and staff, to alumni. Accordingly, it should be unacceptable to all of us, regardless of our race, to continue to implicitly honor these racist ideas by retaining the Boalt name. For Berkeley to hold itself out as an institution and community that is welcoming to all, we must disassociate with racism and bigotry unequivocally, while not denying our history, our errors, and the impacts that may have had. I choose my Asian, Asian-American, Black, and Native American former classmates and fellow alumni over the history and convenience of the "Boalt" and "Boaltie" names. I stand with Dean Chemerinsky in favor of removing the Boalt name from Berkeley Law and I hope the Building Name Review Committee and the University will also.
4/16/2019 7:17:57 While I understand the resistance to change and have at times referred to myself as a Boaltie, I do not believe that the UC Berkeley School of Law should be associated with an individual who espoused racism or unequal treatment even at a time when such ideas were more common. These individuals should be remembered, but not honored. The proud heritage of our school will be supported in the future by a just decision today.
4/16/2019 7:12:18 It's just a name, with no real meaning or significance. It's not as though John Boalt played any role at the school. Why should we continue to be associated with his racist legacy, just because he was rich and happened to pass on enough money to buy a building? Of course some people will still insist on calling it Boalt, like they did after the rebrand to Berkeley Law; but even out working and meeting Berkeley alum, people are making an effort to stop referring to it as Boalt. 
4/16/2019 6:58:43 I graduated from Boalt Hall in 1970 and am now retired from the practice of law.  I am a lifelong Democrat and despise our current president.  I oppose the renaming of Boalt Hall because it gives additional support to the madness that is now political correctness (PC).

Boalt's comments were racist but given many years ago in a different time and milieu. It has been noted that prominent Americans, such as George Washington or Thomas Jefferson, owned slaves but they left a substantial legacy and, apparently for the authors of this proposal, get a pass.  It would be interesting to determine if Boalt's posterity have been tainted by his genes and, thus, share his sentiments and espouse right--or left-wing--causes and claims. This might be one method  to see whether time and changing standards and philosophies might influence Boalt's pronouncements were he alive today. The test of time is typically ignored, as seen in the confirmation hearing of Justice Kavanagh,  and there is probably not one of us who could not look into his or her distant past and find comments or behavior that would provide a source of embarrassment or worse if disclosed in today's political climate. There are those who would seek to erase the memory of Washington or Jefferson for PC reasons even though his practice was deemed acceptable at the time. No one is, or was, perfect but there could arrive a time when the only individuals deemed worthy of having a building named after them would be those whose first name is Saint--but then another sector would find fault. The PC standards that are currently employed by, I believe, a limited segment of the American community are found on a very slippery slope on which I feel the administrators of UC Berkeley and Berkeley Law are sliding.

I would also note that I have declined to have my full name disclosed because I fear a response similar to that which followed the supporters of Prop 8 who were persecuted publicly because they espoused a point of view supported or accepted by the majority of Californians who voted on the issue. 
4/16/2019 6:29:21 What is symbolic must be preserved. Although the merit of Dean's proposal is noble it can be achieved in other ways. The name "Boalt" has transcended its origin and it is now part of UC Berkeley and of every student that had the priviledge of being there.
4/16/2019 6:25:17 Please dename
4/16/2019 6:21:28 I don't blame John for expressing his opinion. Especially in 1882, so long ago, influenced by culture and limitations of the time. He was maybe a good person, to his family, to his community and by providing to the University, but he had terrible and misguided opinion about immigrants (as far as we know). I don't think he deserves to be judged now. Nor those people named "Boalt". They don't deserve all the exposure and judgement. Let's apply the Statute of Limitations and let him rest in peace. I suggest to make it only a matter of Marketing. Remove the name Boalt to fortify the name Berkeley(Law).
4/16/2019 6:07:44 Even though I had been using the name "Boalt" and referring to myself as a "Boaltie" with fondness, I didn't realize the history behind the name and once I did after reading the SF Chronicle article, I did not feel comfortable with using those names or being associated with such a legacy anymore.  I appreciate the committee and Dean Chemerinsky's thoughtful process and communication and am in full support of the proposal.  Thank you for all the time and resources spent on this!
4/16/2019 3:00:40 You can't erase history by detaching the name of a building. And you shouldn't if you want to  learn from history. Political correctness is the enemy of truth. Abandon it at your peril.

A racist artist Gutzon Borglum devised Mount Rushmore which was built on illegally seized indigenous land. All four presidents carved into stone there would be called white supremacists today. Would Berkeley Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky want to see Mount Rushmore blown up?
4/16/2019 0:56:01 Please remove
4/15/2019 23:06:08 As an alum and a child of ethnic Chinese immigrants, I am appalled that I wpenf years proudly uplifting the name of someone who hated people that looked like me.  And as a long-time civil rights advocate, I am angered by John Boalt’s racism and his specific role in banning and ostracizing Chinese immigrants.  The Chinese Exclusion Act and related anti-Chinese policies forever framed our nation’s immigration policy through a racist lens, a legacy that survives and thrives through today. I am grateful for the committee’s careful research and the Dean’s decision to remove the Boalt name and I support it completely. 
4/15/2019 22:23:48 I think we shall not forget what Boalt has contributed to Berkeley Law and we are not asking to remove Boalt from the building name for this purpose. Name of the Building of Berkeley Law somehow represents where the school stands. When I tell people that I graduated from Berkeley Law, some translate that as I studies at Boalt. So Boalt has been a nickname of University of California at Berkeley School of Law. We don't want to send signals to the world that Berkeley Law is biased. By removing the name Boalt Hall, I think we are sending a message that we are not. 
4/15/2019 22:07:36 Please remove the name "Boalt" to the maximum extent possible. He had nothing to do with the law school and has a terrible, racist legacy in public life. I am a Berkeley Law alum, not a Boalt alum.
4/15/2019 21:39:10 I am a 1980 graduate of Berkeley Law.  My wife ('82) and both of my children (2010 and 2013) went to CAL, so we take serious any matters related to UC Berkeley.  I believe that John Boalt's name on the law school, having continued for 100 years, which is more than a sufficient period of time.  John Boalt did not attend the law school, which did not exist in his lifetime, nor did he have a particular connection to UC Berkeley.  And he did write and say very racist things, which many of his contemporaries did not do. It is time to change away from the Boalt name and recognize the great value of the "Berkeley" brand.
4/15/2019 20:41:47 I support Dean’s proposal. It is right thing to do. 
4/15/2019 19:22:09 We definitely shall not let the building named after the person who wrote a racist essay. It is disrespectful to all students and deeply hurts reputation of Berkeley Law and the whole university.
4/15/2019 18:28:45 It is one thing to terminate the use of an informal name for the Law School; it is another, shameful thing to replace the name of the building funded by Elizabeth Boalt.  (I know, today's Boalt Hall is not the original building; the spirit that carried the name over should prevail today against those who would dishonor her expectations.)
4/15/2019 18:18:03 Let's clean up history and do our best to rectify past wrongs.  Associating an elite law school with a known bigot isn't the message we want to send to the public.
4/15/2019 17:54:45 Changing the law school's name is one important step in undoing deeply entrenched racism that forms the foundation of so many institutions.  Thank you to Dean Chemerinsky and all who worked to raise this issue.
4/15/2019 17:05:09 I thought only the Taliban  cancelled or destroyed the history it refused to tolerate. For a public university to destroy its history is outrageous. I taught at Boalt Hall and graduated class of '63.  And I will no longer contribute to it as an organization that is so extreme as to remove the name of this prestigious organization.
4/15/2019 16:56:46 I am a proud and grateful 1969 graduate of the law school and have always used "Boalt Hall" in referring to my legal education. But I was appalled to hear, only recently, about John Boalt's offensive and entirely unacceptable racist comments about Asians, African-Americans and Native Americans. So I support the Dean's proposal to remove Boalt's name from the law building.
4/15/2019 16:51:52 I strongly favor removing the name as it is an affront to both students of color and all those who are engaged in the continuing struggle against racism in this country. The analogies to those like Washington, et al. made by those opposing the name change are not at all convincing. As Dean Chemerinsky stated, there are reasons why we might not want to change the naming of things after Washington, et al. (in terms of their contributions to democracy, etc.) but there is no comparable reason to maintain the Boalt name.  Money alone cannot make up for racism.
4/15/2019 16:40:22 I fully support Dean Chemerinsky's proposal to remove the name Boalt Hall from the building.

When it comes to alumni feelings of community connected to the Boalt name, those feelings are not as important as respecting those who are harmed by this country’s violently racist legacy.  As a 2005 graduate who used to proudly refer to the school as Boalt Hall, I’m grateful for the opportunity to do better.  
4/15/2019 16:39:17 I support this move.
4/15/2019 16:30:50 I think the Boalt name should be removed because of the abhorrent, racist and xenophobic ideologies and politics of John Boalt. The UC system and the law school in particular still have a long way to go to create a truly anti-racist and anti-oppressive institutional culture and policies for students, faculty, staff and community members (including the need to repeal Proposition 209). However, this would be an important initial symbolic step in that direction. Thank you. 
4/15/2019 16:25:23 History matters.  It is a betrayal of history to erase the momuments of one generation because another one has different views.  Of course there are exceptions, like the holocaust and the zwastika in Germany, but we can't preserve the history, good and bad, of in our own country if we go around deleting memories of all our mistakes.  
4/15/2019 15:45:49 It is a tough decision. I support changing the name but will always consider myself a "Boaltie" with my peers. The school, tradition, and meaning don't change with an updated name.
4/15/2019 15:45:42 Comment on Removing the Name "Boalt"

I am a Graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, School of Law, the Class of 1975. At Berkeley I served as the Chairman of the Asian American Law Students Associations. I worked for the Asian Law Caucus during my first summer on the Supreme Court case of Lau v. Nichols, as to a right to bi-lingual education in California Schools. I was an editor of the California Law review and published an article at Berkeley on the need for interpreters in criminal proceedings.
Since then I have clerked for a Federal District Judge in Hawaii and started teaching at the University of Hawaii, William S. Richardson School of Law in 1976. I have taught at numerous law schools in the United States and Japan. I was a Senior Fulbright Scholar at Western Australia. I represented the Hawaii Supreme Court and its Chief Justice William S. Richardson in federal litigation and served as Senior Legislative Counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs. I have presently in my 43 year of teaching.
In the name of the students who did come to fight for social justice and in the name of the thousands of persons of color who should have been able to attend Berkeley since its first established--I support Dean Chemerinsky's proposal. 
Some might say "what's in a name?"--but that is the mind of the conqueror--for since this great continent was first called "America” names have determined the course of American racism. 
No one has an investment in a name, such as “Boalt Hall.” All who have succeeded by attending the law school should now recognize that we have succeeded, to some degree, within the paradigm of rights and privileges derived by terrible wrongs done in the past.  If there ever was a “Boalt Hall” it was the Boalt Hall that imagined when

I chose Berkeley because of its reputation for social and economic justice—I chose it to further my work in achieving a better world, a more just world for all.  “Boalt Hall” was in 1972 the” shining city” on the hill. At times Boalt failed me. At times it rewarded me. It has always, nevertheless, been part of my quest. It did provide the resources for challenging injustice as to Asian Americans and Native Hawaiians.
Today, I teach and advocate Native Hawaiian rights and self-determination.  Fighting for justice at “Boalt” honed my skills as advocate and scholar. While in law school, I was the Chair of the Asian American Students Association during the student strikes of 1972-74. I worked on a Supreme Court brief on bi-lingual bi-cultural education while at the Asian Law Caucus. I co-authored an article in the California Law Review on the need for bilingual interpreters in criminal proceedings. I and many students of color struggled against much of “Boalt” culture.  The skills and inspiration I have today are due, in large part, to the law school—not the person named “Boalt.” It is that school, not its name—that gave me what I value. The Berkeley law community can do better-it can show the country and the world, that the arc of history bends towards justice.

I urge the school to support the proposal. It is for we, the alumni and the generations of students to come that I ask the School and University to eliminate a shadow that has been cast over the name of this school.
 Professor Williamson Chang  ‘1975
4/15/2019 15:43:53 Let's not honor white supremacy
4/15/2019 15:39:18 When I say I graduated from UC Berkeley School of Law almost everyone says Oh Boalt Hall...His wife gave the money--not him. And sensibilities were different than then now---so maybe you would reject the money now say from some chemical firm that poisons the atmosphere but why not honor Ms Boalt's contribution to decades of lawyers graduating from Boalt.  I also know that I will substantially lessen my yearly donations if the name change happens and probably will remove Boalt from my alternative beneficiaries under my will.
4/15/2019 15:36:59 I will always be proud to have graduated from Boalt Hall.
4/15/2019 15:34:44 I understand it is difficult to change much about 100 plus year old institutions, but this should be one of the easiest changes we can make to help improve upon past wrongs. People will adjust to our law school having a slightly different name. They already have.  Removing the name is consistent with other efforts to de-emphasize a name now associated with racism.  Its removal will not mar the law school in any way- our school and its reputation will continue to grow with our diverse an ambitious community.  Conversely, the impact of racism and sexism in our society is incredibly enduring.  Let's not deny that racism itself, never mind its impacts, has proven quite hardy.  So, if renaming the school helps reduce racism and its impact somewhat, even by starting more conversations about it, and improve things a little more for those who were and are targets of "-isms", then removing the name is a small thing to do and the right thing to do.  And I do believe it helps.  For that reason, I favor the name change and thank Dean Chemerinsky for his proposal.    
4/15/2019 15:34:20 Elizabeth Boalt donated a large sum of money and, like most benefactors, deserves the right to remain recognized for her gift.  Since "John Boalt" is not the building name, I find it interesting that the Dean would cite so much evidence against John's character with the implicit assumption that Boalt means only John Boalt and only his reputation is associated with the school.  As the Dean writes, Elizabeth's portrait is the one that hangs in the school that bears her name (and not her husband's).  I don't think that it is a good policy for the University to "de-name" anything that has been donated to the school.  If the building were being razed, that would be one thing, but "de-naming" doesn't pass the smell test.
4/15/2019 15:29:24 Never liked it. Not known outside a small community of lawyers, certainly not on the East coast.
4/15/2019 15:11:55 This PC madness must have a limit. I am embarrassed that Boalt Hall has lost its name and now its mind. Please do not erase yet another important link to the education and experiences I and so many other graduates had there that have shaped our lives for good in so many ways.  
4/15/2019 15:10:49 I am a 1982 graduate. I do not want my law school associated any longer, in any way, with the vile racist John Boalt.
4/15/2019 15:08:07 There are many individuals now and in the past who held or did what is in the judgment of modern society, extremely controversial. For example, popular fear fed by yellow journalism lead to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. However, the then Governor of California, Earl Warren, who signed the order, also wrote the opinion Brown v. Board of Education. One must consider the circumstances of the time before passing judgment on the perpetrator. The Chinese Exclusion Act is a very distasteful act when considered from the social conscience of 2019. However, I do not believe that it is necessarily proper to judge the acts of an individual that lived over a century ago by modern standards. Although the individual, who is now deceased, may have played a role in a distasteful act, Boalt Hall has graduated many Asians including Chinese Americans since its inception. In doing so hasn't the administration of the law school partially cleansed the name of the individual who's name is on the building?

I firmly agree that what he did is not right according to modern standards. However, I believe that Boalt Hall has acted with honor in treating all who come equally. I further believe that this will not change going forward. Therefore, I do not see any logical basis for changing the name. 
4/15/2019 14:46:59 Berkeley Law has already transcended the Boalt Era in the public eye.  The Berkeley brand is strong enough to stand on its own.  Any continued use of an honorific for a man who’s racist views were anything but honorable, is an anachronistic allegiance that bears no weight.  It’s time for the edifices of the Berkeley Law to evolve to match who is inside: a vibrant, diverse, path-breaking collection of doers.
4/15/2019 14:31:26 My greatest pride in my time at U.C. Berkeley School of Law is to the principles of justice I learned there, not the name on the main hall.  In that light, I believe the name on the main hall should reflect those principles of justice, not be opposed to them.
4/15/2019 14:21:09 As a Black Berkeley Law grad (2012), I fully support Dean Chemerinsky's recommendation to de-name Boalt Hall in light of John Boalt's overtly racist statements and writings, and the deliberate, inclusive process used to arrive at the proposal. It is incumbent on all Americans to engage critically and courageously with the U.S.'s legacy of genocide and racial subordination and its continuing effects, in particular graduates of Berkeley Law who help shape the laws and policies of our society. De-naming Boalt Hall is a small but significant way to do so that can help inspire larger efforts, while having minimal negative impacts. 
4/15/2019 14:02:56 Berkeley Law should not continue to valorize a man who worked to use the legal system as a way to systematically exclude others from the United States on the basis of their race/nationality. Although history (and our connection to it, re: the Botero paintings which are appropriately displayed outside the Dean's office) should be acknowledged and remembered, Boalt does not deserve to have his name adorn Berkeley's name as an honor. Although different in form, this is remarkably similar to Confederate monuments, which should be similarly removed. Especially. for a public law school that purports to be about equity and inclusion and prominently advertises its public interest programs and commitment to diversity, it is shameful to keep the name Boalt. 
4/15/2019 13:58:32 The history of racism demonstrated by Judge Boalt is contrary to the nature and spirit of the university and the law school.
4/15/2019 13:55:01 YES. The law school should be referred to as Berkeley Law like Harvard Law, Yale Law, etc. Scholars and prospective students worldwide know Berkeley; they don't know Boalt.  I do a lot of international work and get blank stares when I say I graduated from Boalt  Hall Law School. When I say "Berkeley" people's eyes light up.

I have heard Dean Chemerinsky described the background and understand that: (a) Boalt was an avowed racist, (b) there is no legal barrier to removing the Boalt name in the bequest document.  Look forward; not back. Ignore appeals from narrow-minded locally-thinking opponents who mistakenly think temporary confusion about the name change will somehow hurt them.  Berkeley's Law School is and should be recognized as a top world law school now and this name change will position it for the future. DO THE RIGHT THING.
4/15/2019 13:52:01 Your attempts to rewrite history to conform to modern changing morality is misplaced.  Have  you considered that George Berkeley, for whom the City and now the Law School were named, owned a plantation in Maryland in the mid 1700's, and almost assuredly owned slaves to operate the plantation.  Would this disqualify the use of his name, and require yet another renaming.  This absurd kowtowing to political correctness is quite disturbing for a top tier law school.  
4/15/2019 13:48:08 Boalt's racist views were abhorrent and his name should be removed. I'm surprised it has taken this long. I don't expect persons from earlier eras to have the same beliefs and values that we have today. However, Boalt's virulent and outspoken racism stands out in any historical context. He did not accomplish anything deserving of public recognition. I support the Dean's proposal to remove his name.
4/15/2019 13:47:54 My class ring says Boalt Hall.  I would be very annoying (and expensive) to have to change it.
4/15/2019 13:44:27 I support the Dean’s recommendation.
4/15/2019 13:42:19 I support the Dean's proposal. I am especially appalled at those who objected to his proposal because other famous people who committed more heinous acts (such as slave-owning) still have buildings and institutions named after them. First, I hope the stewards of those buildings and institutions will consider new names as well. Second, whether they do or not, the issue at hand here is Berkeley Law. What other people do is not our concern. 
4/15/2019 13:38:37 It is my understanding that the name "Boalt Hall" arose from acceptance by the University of a donation from Elizabeth Boalt consisting of the funds to construct the law school building as a memorial to her late husband, attorney John Boalt.  Very recently, apparently as the result of some research into personal views that may have been held by Mr. Boalt at some point in his life, and in an effort to express disapproval of those views, a cabal has arisen in the pursuit of present day political correctness, to change the building's long-standing name.  This aligns with those factions recently militating for the destruction of various historical monuments across the country, fostering the belief that by such destruction, or in Boalt's case a name change, history can be changed, i.e. the delete key can be pressed, and those who purport to speak for the community at large can be reassured that their disapproval of an aspect of the personality, or possible views, of the person for whom a prior substantial donation was made and accepted, has now been memorialized in a tangible way, and a truly important cause in the effort to revise or erase the past, has been served.
4/15/2019 13:38:26 I am opposed to the name change
4/15/2019 13:34:09 Since 1970, I have proudly identified myself as a graduate of Boalt Hall. Obviously, until recently, I, and I assume the several thousand graduates who preceded and followed me, had no idea about the sordid history of the school's namesake. However, removing the name would suggest to those that have reviewed my CV that the school from which I received my J.D. no longer exists. 
4/15/2019 13:32:17 Leave well enough alone. Boalt is its name. 
4/15/2019 13:27:27 I loved "Boalt Hall", UC Berkeley, the education I received there and the experience. I was honored to be a Josiah Boalt Scholar, Chairman of the Moot Court Board and a managing editor of both the CA Law Review and the Ecology Law Quarterly. I am embarrassed that the law school has pursued and spent an inordinate amount of money attempting to replace our past and our honor. What a waste of resources. Changing the proud name of our law school because of the 19th century writings of a man honored by his wife is inappropriate.
4/15/2019 13:26:47 long overdue.  Thank you Dean Chemerinsky!
4/15/2019 13:24:48 First of all I sincerely appreciate the in-depth research that has been done in consideration of the proposal.  I have relied on it in my response.

As a general rule I oppose changing the names of "memorials".  Many changes seem to be made as knee jerk reactions for current political correctness and disregard the culture and prevalent thought during the time in which the honoree lived.  In the instant case the points I find most persuasive in allowing the renaming do not rely on any need to do so because of  John Boalt's paper on "The Chinese Question".

It appears as if the wishes of Elizabeth Boalt were never honored in full at the outset.  The building she funded was to be known as the "Boalt Law Building".  Instead it was called "Boalt (Memorial) Hall of Law, or Boalt Hall."  Even if it had been named the Boalt Law Building,  I see no obligation to carry the name of the previous building to the new building in a different location on campus.  To me that gives less reason for retaining the name originally given to the new building. 

The story of the donation should be told and the history of the donation and gratitude to Elizabeth should be prominently displayed as part of the history of the law school.  There should be something in Durant Hall honoring its history.

While not persuasive by itself I give some weight to the fact that the donation was made by Elizabeth Boalt in memory of her husband, John, rather than based on significant contributions of John himself. 

I understand the feelings of many in the Boalt community about retaining the name and its association with the law school.  After all most of us thought we were attending Boalt Hall, not Berkeley Law.   I will say, however,  in my experience on leaving the Bay Area few people new what I was referring to when I said Boalt Hall.  I usually had to explain that it was UC Berkeley School of Law.

Despite the fact that the paper on "The Chinese Question" may be the driving force behind the proposed name change, I believe there are other reasons as well for choosing to rename the building and to emphasize the use of the name Berkeley School of Law.
4/15/2019 13:22:20 Looking forward to removing the name. Boalt's views are abhorrent and should not be honored in any way. Thank you for addressing this shameful piece of history.
4/15/2019 13:21:16 I am a 1980 graduate of Boalt Hall. The proposed removal of the name Boalt Hall both saddens and irritates me. The law school proudly used the name Boalt Hall for decades and I was proud to graduate from the institution known by that name.

I wish to note that I am a liberal, not a conservative. I am not a bigot, but strongly embrace inclusion rather than division (If it's not obvious already, I am opposed to Donald Trump and to his divisive leadership.)

However, I strongly believe that the effort to remove all trace of the Boalt Hall name from Berkeley Law is reactionary, over-reaching political correctness. Never once in the years of my attendance at Boalt Hall, nor all the years since, have I ever heard either the school, nor the building, referred to as John Boalt Hall.  Indeed, the benefactor to the school, with generous gifts of land and money was  Elizabeth Josselyn  Boalt, not John Boalt. I don't believe there is any evidence that Elizabeth Boalt was similarly guilty of promoting the kind of racism that John Boalt espoused.

I don't believe it is fair to  Elizabeth Josselyn  Boalt nor just, to trash her name, just because her husband was a racist. I am flabbergasted that women of Boalt Hall in today's culture are standing by silently, and not objecting to the complete discounting of  Elizabeth Josselyn  Boalt's memory and generosity, deprecating it totally to the reputation of her husband. The name Boalt Hall honors the memory of  Elizabeth Josselyn  Boalt. If any change to the building name is appropriate, it ought not be the removal of Boalt, but the addition of Elizabeth - i.e., Elizabeth Boalt Hall. 
4/15/2019 13:17:23 Racism is unacceptable.  Those who advocate is should not be honored.
4/15/2019 13:16:05 I have lived in regimes behind the Iron Curtain where revision of history was a significant government enterprise.  Many of our illustrious forebears in the United States (including Presidents featured on our currency, and who even were key in Emancipation) engaged in activities or maintained opinions and beliefs which we now consider to be currently unacceptable.  Attempting to efface the tributes to such individuals from our edifices - and our lives - may be a fashionable at the moment, but in general I am strongly opposed to it.
4/15/2019 13:07:33 The revelations about the views of Mr. Boalt are unfortunate and bring shame upon a great institution like Berkeley Law.  Just as the law school will no longer use Boalt in its naming, the building itself should be stripped of that unfortunate stain on Berkeley Law's reputation.
4/15/2019 13:01:22 As the daughter of  Chinese immigrant parents and a Cal alumnus I strongly support the removal of Boalt's name from the Law School.  If Cal is to truly be an inclusive campus, its buildings cannot reflect those whose views are an antithesis to equity and inclusion. 
4/15/2019 13:00:45 Let's move this along.  PS - save the signage and auction it off.  some people will buy it.
4/15/2019 13:00:00 As alum, I would change the name on the grounds that when I say "Boalt" outside of the Bay Area and outside of the law community, I usually get a blank look.  Then I have to explain it's UC Berkeley.
4/15/2019 12:55:36 I was proud to graduate Boalt Hall whose reputation remains among the highest of law schools!
4/15/2019 12:51:45 Chinese Exclusion is a shameful part of California's history but erasing reminders of it like the name Boalt won't undo it or help any of its victims. The name should stay and we should all reflect on Boalt's role in this part of California history. Instead of woke gestures, I wish the law school would focus on helping law students by reducing tuition/loans, helping them with the cost of living, and improving its pedagogy.
4/15/2019 12:48:58 Better known as University of California Berkeley School of Law 
4/15/2019 12:47:57 I am in strong favor of Dean Chemerinsky's proposal to change the name of Boalt Hall due to John Boalt's association with the Chinese Exclusion Act. 
4/15/2019 12:42:27 I have reconsidered my selection below. Please don't post my previous comments with my name. Initials are fine. Thanks.
4/15/2019 12:42:06 I see no reason to name a building after this person and feel no allegiance to the Boalt name as a Berkeley Law alum.
4/15/2019 12:38:36 When, some years ago, the suggestion was made to change the name of the law school to Berkeley Law, I objected because it seemed just a concession to marketing.  Boalt is where I obtained my legal education, and just because some hiring partners outside of California didn't know the name was insufficient reason to change it. 

My view then was not based on my knowledge of Mr. Boalt.  Now, I know, and it seems to me it does little honor to my law school, or to my fellow graduates, to have the building that holds that law school bear the name of a really dubious character. 

Yale, an institution not known for its courage, got rid of John C. Calhoun College.  We should expect no less of ourselves.

I do hope, however, that these changes to the names of the law school and the building are not just in anticipation of a later sale of naming rights.  My law school is not a basketball arena or a baseball stadium.  I don't want it to be "The Uber School of Law" or some such nonsense--nor do a want an individual with a lot of money to put his name on my education.  Mrs. Boalt secured those naming rights long ago, and look how that turned out.  Let's take pride in "Berkeley Law" and leave it like that. 
4/15/2019 12:34:19 History should not be erased, but understood.  Today, Notre Dame is on fire -- everyone loves their heritage, which they should.  I am a Native Black American , not an African American,  because my culture is America, not Africa  (which consists of 54 countries).  Native Black Americans history/heritage, must not be erased nor lumped with other groups, such as African immigrants, people of color and minorities -- this designation is important to the 460 year history that Native Black Americans have had in this country -- and, it's relevant to our politics.

Reasonable people and not mere ideologues, don't erase history, but know it and understand it.   Americans should not be embarrassed by America's history, but should know it and appreciate it, in it's proper context. In no other country could a Native Black American achieve what I achieved in America.  

For the last 6 decades, it is liberal ideology that has destroyed my group/Native Black Americans.

I'm disappointed that the name Boalt Hall was replaced -- erasing history.  Who makes these decisions -- I don't think knowledgeable and wise Native Black Americans, really care, about the name on a statue or building.  Nor, the mere name of a school.  What knowledgeable Native Black Americans really care about is money in their pockets -- not being relegated to a permanent underclass.  Right after slavery, Native Black American owned 1/2 of 1 percent of the wealth of America.  Today, Native Black Americans own 2 percent of the wealth of America -- this is what is unacceptable, not names on buildings and statues. 
4/15/2019 12:33:31 Your proposal, like the attitude it reflects, disgusts me.
4/15/2019 12:32:42 We should face our history and discuss it openly, not hide it.
4/15/2019 12:32:04 I applaud Dean Chemersinky's leadership on this issue and look forward to a new name that doesn't reflect such an ugly history. If there is a survey for a replacement name, I hope to see Herma Hill Kay as an option.
4/15/2019 12:31:58 I strongly encourage UC Berkeley Law to remove the name Boalt from the building.  Students, alumni, and our community have voiced concern about having the name of someone who championed Chinese Exclusion on the school.  I share that concern.  The removal of the name can also serve to forge a new identity for the school. 

For some time I have held out hope that the school could be named for Ruth Bader Ginsberg, but if not then I would encourage the school to put the name of Clara Shortridge Foltz on the building.  Ms. Foltz was the first woman lawyer on the West Coast and she pioneered the public defender movement in California.  When she could not take the California Bar examination she authored a bill called the Woman Lawyer Bill, which replaced the words "white male" with the word "person", indicating that someone other than a white male could be admitted into the state bar.  In September 1878 she passed the Bar and was the first woman admitted into the state bar.  She later fought for the right of indigent defendants to have public defenders and helped establish the strong California public defender system that is in place today.   In fighting her fight, Ms. Foltz helped create me: a Latino public defender dedicated to the plight of the poor and the marginalized among us, walking the foot steps Foltz's trail created for folks like me. 
4/15/2019 12:29:49 This is a comparatively easy name change proposal.  While we have seen many other institutions wrestle with names of benefactors or contributors that expressed vile racism, in this instance (and as the Dean has pointed out) John Boalt made no contribution of time or money to the law school.  His wife's desire to honor him has been fulfilled in the named professorships and we have fulfilled that commitment with gratitude for HER generosity of her own time and money, which was reportedly significant. 

The naming of the building in retrospect appears almost arbitrary.  We can't find any real reason for it, though we can find many that argue against it as this new information has come to light.  With that (lack of) balance in mind, the last question may be the value of just keeping something that has been there for a long time, even if it is not very valued.  Whether it is worth it to do the work of changing it.  I think we have our answer in the report of the overwhelming discomfort people of color feel about the history we have unearthed.  It is worth it to do the work of changing it. Yes.

I appreciate the hard work that has been done by the law school's committee in learning this history that was previously unknown (or nearly unknown), helping stakeholders learn that history, and responding to the import of it with an extremely deliberate process to ensure everyone had a chance to be heard.  Knowing that there are plans to ensure that this now-unearthed history will continue to be available for all to learn is also reassuring.  There's no erasing history here - only expanding access to it, in fact.  And the plan to make that history more available, while eliminating the honor that we have learned was not truly earned, is in my opinion the best course of action for the law school and the university.
4/15/2019 12:28:10 The name "Boalt" should be removed from association with the law school. I've read arguments that we should be reminded of racist people in American history as a lesson for present times, but we can be reminded of them without honoring them. For example, along with removing the name, the school could erect a display inside the main building explaining who John Boalt was, the racist things he said, who his wife was, and the contributions she made to the school. Some additional reasons the name should be removed: Just because the names of other people who said and did racist things, and thereby supported racism, cannot or should not be removed (Washington, Jefferson etc.) does not mean we should not remove the name of Boalt or others who said and did such things. The contributions of famous people like Washington, Jefferson, and many others outweigh their racist conduct (although I can see arguments to the contrary), but those people cannot be fairly compared to John Boalt and whatever his contributions were, if any. Many names are so ingrained in American life that they cannot be removed, but of course not so for Boalt.
4/15/2019 12:26:07 I realize (with a mixture of sadness and anger) that keeping the name of the School itself is a lost cause for us "Boalties", but the woman who made it possible to found and operate this great institution should have something of her memory maintained for posterity.  We went all this time thinking about Elizabeth's generosity and vision,  but it turned out you let her husband's views become a  more important memory.  Give her a building.  
4/15/2019 12:21:58 Where will this stop? Earl Warren Hall on campus is named after the governor who sent thousands of American Citizens to concentration camps. Hearst Memorial Mining Building and Hearst Greek Theater are named after an individual who, as a member of the US Senate, actually voted for the Chinese Exclusion Act.

If this renaming persists, The City of Berkeley (Hearst Avenue) and UC have a lot more work to do. Where do I sign up to petition for such a review and renaming process?
4/15/2019 12:20:05 I fully support this change. 
4/15/2019 12:19:41 I appreciate the Committee's thoughtful memorandum.
4/15/2019 12:17:26 I applaud the work of the Committee on the Use of the Boalt Name on this issue, and write briefly to support Dean Chemerinsky's proposal. 

I agree, as the Committee report noted, that continuity in names has value.  I believe, however, that memorials and naming conventions must represent who we are today - as a law school, and as a people.  Further, those of us alive today have an abiding duty to choose what best represents the values of our school: excellence, justice, and honor in public service.  There is little honor in continuing to memorialize John Boalt, for the reasons well stated in the Committee report.  Thank you.
4/15/2019 12:15:55 I believe Boalt Hall is overdue for a name change.  University of California, Berkeley, School of Law would be preferable.
4/15/2019 12:13:40 I think the name should remain Boalt Hall- there is little left to represent the original legend of "Boalt" and to show the respect for the law school's prior history which still lives on.
4/15/2019 12:06:16 Renaming Suggestion: "Earl Warren Hall".
4/15/2019 12:01:10 I have already stated my opposition. Boalt Hall is where I went to law school. Should we rename the state I live in because George Washington owned slaves? Decide the Declaration of Independence is a racist document for the same reason? What about Hugo Black, who was one of our great supreme court justices but who had joined the KKK as a young man? I knew I was whistling in the dark in opposing this action. 
4/15/2019 11:59:47 I am impressed by the careful and thoughtful way that Dean Chemerinsky and the Law School community have approached this issue.  I see no reason to honor John Boalt with a building name, and I hope the Committee will recognize the symbolic importance of de-naming Boalt Hall.  We can continue to honor Elizabeth Boalt's contributions to the University in other ways while confronting our shared and painful history of racism and xenophobia.
4/15/2019 11:58:13 This is a necessary step for Berkeley Law to take as a forward looking institution. Particularly as an American of Chinese heritage, I am proud of my alma mater and the Berkeley Law community for upholding the values of inclusion and justice.
4/15/2019 11:57:23 I am strongly opposed to the revision of history to "cleanse" a past prevalent belief in order to not offend some members of today's campus community. Elizabeth Boalt made a very sizable contribution in 1912 ($100,00 in 1912 dollars!) to honor her husband. Honor requires that her contribution stand in perpetuity. In the future, my contributions are dependent on whether the Boalt name stands, either to honor John or Elizabeth.

Thank you,
James Lahana
4/15/2019 11:56:54 I find the paper recommending the removal of John Boalt’s name to be compelling.  It appears that the law school has no legal obligation to keep the Boalt name on the building.  Without such an obligation it simply makes no sense to allow the school to be associated with a person whose racist views are so inconsistent with the school’s values.  Racism should have no place at an institution that teaches students about justice.  Moreover, in the past decade the school has already gone a long way toward eliminating the Boalt name.  Even before the movement to use “Berkelely” rather than “Boalt” it was clear that “Berkeley” was far better recognized than “Boalt” outside of  California, especially internationally.  All of that said, I support the law school’s decision to continue to honor Elizabeth Boalt as it was her donation (albeit in her husband’s name) that helped the law school become what it is today.
4/15/2019 11:55:51 I support this move
4/15/2019 11:53:33 I see no compelling reason to continue to honor someone who said such vile things.  As a white man, I think it is critical to listen to the people of color who are hurt or offended by the use of the name.
4/15/2019 11:53:20 I am strongly opposed to the revision of history to "cleanse" a past prevalent belief in order to not offend some members of today's campus community. Elizabeth Boalt made a very sizable contribution in 1912 ($100,00 in 1912 dollars!) to honor her husband. Honor requires that her contribution stand in perpetuity. In the future, my contributions are dependent on whether the Boalt name stands, either to honor John or Elizabeth.

Thank you,
James Lahana
4/15/2019 11:52:05 Removal of John Boalt's name from the 1951 wing of the UC Berkeley School of Law is clearly justified, and the right thing to do.  I stand firmly with my fellow alums, especially those who are people of color, to denounce the vile racism and xenophobia of John Boalt, as well as that of the white supremacist who currently occupies the White House.

I deeply respect and admire both former Dean Edley and current Dean Chemerinsky, but I would add that I have always found the appellation "BerkeleyLaw" to be reflective of what I see as creeping corporatism at the Law School Formerly Known as Boalt Hall, and more suitable (if at all) as a Twitter handle--which it also happens to be.  So, if given the choice, I would also vote to eliminate the current unofficial name of the UC Berkeley School of Law.
4/15/2019 11:49:37 It's a recognized brand that took a century to build. I doubt that 1 out of a 100,000 people in California know or care who Boalt was.  The legal community and those who select lawyers, teachers, judges, etc., know that it means top-flight public-spirited professionals.  Although I have strong feelings for the University, I doubt that "Berkeley" (now) carries the same reputation. Too, Berkeley has been a bastion of free speech. Drawing lines, particularly retroactively, is not consistent with that culture.     
4/15/2019 11:48:08 Thank you for the thoughtful process.  I support the name change for the Boalt wing of the law school.  
4/15/2019 11:48:01 "Though boys throw stones at frogs in sport, the frogs do not die in sport but in earnest." -- Bion of Borysthenes.  
4/15/2019 11:46:39 I thought we had dealt with this last year; yes, please remove the name. Change occurs with time; history is revised and viewed differently. This seems appropriate. Berkeley Law is the current name and it is reasonable and widely-understood.
4/15/2019 11:46:14 Any emotional attachment to the name "Boalt" is irrelevant given what we now know. Our great school should have no association with, let alone promotion of, racism in any fashion. Rejecting this proposal would be an endorsement of racism. I will get used to saying "Berkeley Law." We are so much more than a name.  
4/15/2019 11:46:08 please remove the name Boalt Hall (even though it brings memories) 
4/15/2019 11:45:03 I graduated from Boalt Hall in 1966.  Berkeley Law sounds like the name of a lullaby, whereas the former name had some character and impact (not to mention history).  To now remove the name of the building is a suggestion which should collapse under the weight of the same notions advanced to rename the law school.  Perhaps we should re-title America because it is named for an Italian who never lived here.  The idea is nonsense and, to me, offensive. 
4/15/2019 11:44:22 I agree with the recommendation, and expressly want to commend the Dean's handling of the issue in a manner that promoted open communication and involvement of all the the Law School's communities of students, faculty, administrators, and alumni.
4/15/2019 11:43:44 I am not surprised by the Dean's suggestion, given that the name Boalt has already been removed from the name of the law school from which I graduated.  HIs suggestion is yet another  magnificent example of virtue signaling.  What was once a great university has become a sad remnant of its former self.  Please do whatever is necessary to ensure that I no longer receive requests for donations from either the law school or the university at large.  Thank you.
4/15/2019 11:43:33 It is 2019. There is no need to name buildings after individuals who have made notably anti-Chinese, anti-Black, and anti-Native American comments in the past.
4/15/2019 11:40:44 Many if not all revered historical figures turn out to have feet of clay upon closer examination. I think it's unfair for those of us in 2019 to judge people who lived in a completely different society and by different social norms by the standards that we now hold to be appropriate.  So while I have no objection to the school pointing out Boalt's failings I think it is an overreaction to remove his name from the building and the school. If we did continue down this path there will be soon be no names left for anything.
4/15/2019 11:39:46 I am so happy that you have proposed this. NOW hopefully the Cal Bar Association can be prevailed upon to act similarly and so to describe ourselves as graduates of U.C. Berkeley School of Law rather than Boalt Hall. Boalt was an unambiguous racist, clearly shown in his writings,  and it offends me to have to use his name. Thank you for being sensitive to this issue.
4/15/2019 11:39:27 This is an exercise typical of our degraded times, by people who don't know what genuine, adult virtue entails. It is a simulacrum of courage. It is a masquerade that does no actual good, but instead grants its doers gratification without sacrifice, and status without honor. For the sake of your own dignity, just stop.
4/15/2019 11:39:13 I appreciate all the discussion and public comment that went into this decision.  I also appreciate the advocates' demands that we not honor a man who supported racist legislation, even though it was over a century ago.  Therefore, because this process is important, I do not oppose the proposal to remove the name Boalt Hall from the building and associated campus materials. 
However, in actual substance I oppose removing the name Boalt Hall, unless there is a documented evidence that Elizabeth Boalt intended her gift to honor her late husband.  I agree that he should not be honored, but I do not know whether that is why the Boalt name is on the building.  The person who gave the money was ELIZABETH, not her husband.  For all we know, she was making reparations!  By concentrating on what her husband did throughout his life, we have disrespected and ignored the woman who actually made this gift.  There is a whiff of sexism here, and more than a whiff of twisted public policy when seen from the perspective of the law of estates and wills.  (After all, this is a LAW school community -- has anybody taken a course on estates and wills?  And thought about the public policy behind it?)

As a widow myself, and as someone who has used money she inherited from her late husband to support universities including my gifts to UC Berkeley, I can tell you that the women who make such gifts do so for a variety of reasons.  One of them may be to honor the memory of their life partner.  Another one may be to recognize the educational opportunity and quality of instruction that allowed their partner to prosper, and gratefully to "pay it forward" for the next generation.  I suspect most do so for the latter reason.  Unless there is some express statement from the grantor that the money should not be used to support a disadvantaged student or group that the grantor wishes to oppress, the presumption is that the grantor wanted to promote educational access and opportunity for all students.  After all, the grantor's spouse benefited from that -- she wants others to have the same opportunity, and she is grateful to have the money to give to achieve this excellent goal.

Insofar as the discussions about removing the Boalt name from the building revolve around the man, Mr. Boalt -- and you know, they all did! -- they ignored the will of a woman who was doing the right thing.  I feel we should honor Elizabeth and the women who inherit money and instead of keeping for themselves give it to wonderful universities for the support of future generations.  That's what Elizabeth Boalt did.  What her husband did is simply not the point.  She's the one who gave the money.
4/15/2019 11:38:53 Let's just do it.  It's time.  The Boalt name does not define us.  We should reclaim the law school according to our values.  "Esse est percipi," after all...
4/15/2019 11:37:39 If students and alumni of color overwhelmingly support the change, the Boalt name is not harmless to those who were the target of his prejudice, and should be removed if we want to be worthy of the "Berkeley" in Berkeley Law.
4/15/2019 11:37:18 By removing the name Boalt Hall we are judging things that happened over 100 years ago with our eyes and attitude of today. This is wrong because how can we judge with today's standards someone who  was entirely within the moral and legal standards of his time. By this we do not deal with history but negate it. We can all hope that in one or two hundred years from now nobody judges us based on their standards...
4/15/2019 11:36:04 I support the name change.  The Berkeley Law community is neither defined nor encompassed by a name, but by its ability to strive for justice regardless of the circumstance.
4/15/2019 11:36:03 The name should be removed without further delay.
4/15/2019 11:35:34 After more than 35 years as an alum, I feel a real sentimental attachment to the name Boalt Hall, and am not one to rewrite history.  But I don't think that's what we're doing here.  It is past time to disassociate our school from that man's truly evil legacy.  
4/15/2019 11:34:01 I agree that we should remove the name Boalt Hall
4/15/2019 11:33:10 I think the time has come to make this change to reflect the mores of today and to have our building’s name in compliance with the decision to change the School’s name away from the flawed legacy of Boalt.
4/15/2019 11:32:41 As an immigration attorney, I believe that Berkeley Law should be sending a strong signal that we support immigrants and refugees at a time when xenophobia has become our President's policy. 
4/15/2019 11:32:36 In light of what we now know about the school's namesake, it is not appropriate to retain the name. Let it go the way of the Confederate flag.

Peter Grossman
School of Law class of 1973
4/15/2019 11:32:05 I am a 2015 graduate of Berkeley Law. During my time in law school, I liked and used the name "Boalt" to refer to the school. Once I became aware of John Boalt's racist remarks, I could no longer conscience using that name. I believe symbols matter. I believe keeping the name "Boalt" will send a message to students and faculty of color that they are less welcome and respected. Saying "it was a different time" is no excuse, particularly as racism continues to thrive in the modern day. Berkeley Law should take a stand to correct this ignoble part of our law school's history.
4/15/2019 11:31:57 We must act to ensure that regard for history and values triumphs over venal pragmatism.
4/15/2019 11:28:43 I oppose both name changes.
Boalt Hall clearly reflects Mrs. Boalt's  generosity. It was HER gift, no matter her expressed desire, which created the current building.
Overlooked within the proposal was renaming HER professorship. That change was given no analysis. It couldn't because it punishes the wife for the sins of the husband. That is a legal precedent worthy of discussion.
4/15/2019 11:27:56 Despite having always known the building as Boalt, I found the discussions over the past few month persuasive in terms of the reasons for removing the name.
4/15/2019 11:26:58 Based on what has been revealed about Mr. Boalt's offensive racial views, which were considered offensive and controversial by many even in the 1800s, and the fact that the current building was not constructed with funds received from the Boalt family, and our law school will not be violating any promise made in connection with receipt of money from the Boalt family by removing the name from the building, it seems inappropriate to continue to have the Boalt name on our law school building.  Please remove it.  We wish these matters had been revealed to us years ago. 
4/15/2019 11:26:10 For all the reasons well explained in your report, and with the conditions included such as continuing cordiality to Mrs. Boalt, I fully support the recommendation to remove the name Boalt Hall.
4/15/2019 11:25:23 I am a 1997 graduate of the law school. In the first instance, the law school used the Boalt name not because of any great achievements by John Boalt, but because of a gift by his wife. Such a gift cannot justify continuing to use Mr. Boalt's name now that we know what we know. In short, nothing truly important hinges on keeping the Boalt name, and much that is vital hinges on jettisoning it. 
4/15/2019 11:24:23 I very much appreciated Dean Chemerinsky's thoughtful analysis and recommendation, and agree with his conclusion.
4/15/2019 11:23:57 I agree with Dean Chemerinsky's proposal. The mission and ideals of Berkeley Law and its students are antithetical to racism and white supremacism.
4/15/2019 11:23:54 I support the Dean's proposal, which is thoughtful and balances the equities and was the result of a thorough and even-handed process. 
4/15/2019 11:23:50 I support this decision. It's appropriate and timely. Thank you.
4/15/2019 11:23:31 This is outrageous, and simply a part of the Leftist movement in the U.S. to rewrite history.  No Boalt Hall alum should contribute one penny to the university ever again if this proposal is adopted.  Also, the Dean and the U.C. President should be removed from office.
4/15/2019 11:22:26 This is outrageous, and simply a part of the Leftist movement in the U.S. to rewrite history.  No Boalt Hall alum should contribute one penny to the university ever again if this proposal is adopted.  Also, the Dean and the U.C. President should be removed from office.
4/15/2019 11:22:07 I wholeheartedly endorse both the Berkeley Law Committee on the Use of the Boalt Name's recommendations, as well as those presented in Dean Chemerinsky's proposal.
4/15/2019 11:22:07 In favor of Dean Chemerinsky's proposal to remove the name Boalt Hall.
4/15/2019 11:21:26 I support this change.  The Law School should be inclusive and welcoming for all students.  This name change will support this goal.  
4/15/2019 11:21:09 In favor of the proposal to remove the name Boalt. 
4/15/2019 11:20:20 We should not continue to honor someone who expressed racist views.
4/15/2019 11:19:05 I agree with Dean Chemerinsky's reasoning and conclusion that the name should be removed.
4/15/2019 11:18:53 It well know name ... You can rename other buildings
4/15/2019 11:18:43 I am opposed to removing the name.
4/15/2019 11:18:36 "Where did you go to law school?" "I don't know anymore."
4/15/2019 11:18:31 I fully support the Dean's proposal to remove the name Boalt Hall from the  Law School building.  
4/12/2019 8:53:49 We need to acknowledge the wealth that has enabled injustices over the course of American History. Values of our donors should matter and reflect the values of our school. Removing this name sends a message that racism is not a value that Berkeley Law or UC Berkeley tolerates. I believe that this is ultimately a message of integrity that is vital for both inclusion and longevity of the program, and is one that should be followed across the campus.
4/10/2019 6:04:42 Berkeley values diversity of people, cultures, and ideas and we shouldn't memorialize individuals whose values don't align with this. The law school, of all places, should understand that the history of racism in our country as embedded in law and practice has and continues to be damaging for many marginalized communities. This is an opportunity to make a statement that we do not condone racism, interpersonal and structural, as an institution and a community.
4/6/2019 14:24:40 There is just not good reason to keep a racist name on a campus building.  The mild inconvenience for law school alumni who feel attached to the name "Boalties" pales in comparison to the marginalization Asian students, staff, and faculty will feel if the name is retained.  The law school will just have to learn to appreciate the Berkeley name instead, like all other departments on campus do.
4/6/2019 12:26:37 I support the request to remove the name of the law school building in question.
4/3/2019 11:14:50 It seems obvious that if we do not want our institution named after a racist man, we do not want our main building to be named after him, either. Students, particularly Asian students and Black students, do not feel comfortable getting their legal education in a building named after a man that did not want them in the country, much less in institutions of higher learning. 
4/2/2019 14:42:25 I strong support the proposal to rename the building. I would suggest that it be named after Berkeley Law grad Dale Minami.
4/2/2019 11:22:56 Renaming the building sets a dangerous precedent. Many common views in the 19th century are taboo today. You would be hard pressed to find a person from history who held views that are progressive today. 
4/2/2019 1:31:02 I have a solution that should satisfy progressives and traditionalists alike. We should rename our law school after the most prominent juror of the 20th century: former Supreme Court Justice and Cal alumni Earl Warren. As the Chief Justice who pushed for an end to segregation by presiding over and writing the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision, Warren is a civil rights icon who perfectly exemplifies the egalitarian ideal of justice that the Berkeley community holds so dear. Additionally, Warren started his career locally as District Attorney for Alameda County. After that he was elected to two terms as Governor of California. Appointed to the nation’s highest court by a moderate President (Eisenhower) and confirmed with bipartisan support in 1953, Earl Warren is the perfect role model for law students of every political background. There isn’t a single more qualified individual to associate our law program with.
4/2/2019 1:29:19 I have a solution that should satisfy progressives and traditionalists alike. We should rename our law school after the most prominent juror of the 20th century: former Supreme Court Justice and Cal alumni Earl Warren. As the Chief Justice who pushed for an end to segregation by presiding over and writing the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision, Warren is a civil rights icon who perfectly exemplifies the egalitarian ideal of justice that the Berkeley community holds so dear. Additionally, Warren started his career locally as District Attorney for Alameda County. After that he was elected to two terms as Governor of California. Appointed to the nation’s highest court by a moderate President (Eisenhower) and confirmed with bipartisan support in 1953, Earl Warren is the perfect role model for law students of every political background. There isn’t a single more qualified individual to associate our law program with.
4/1/2019 12:58:19 The name should be removed.
3/31/2019 14:36:47 The dean's memorandum states "Those who self-identified as individuals of color overwhelmingly, but not unanimously, favored changing the name." If you want to make UC Berkeley feel like a place where people of color belong, it seems like one of the smallest, easiest things you could do would be to de-name Boalt Hall. Removing the name obviously doesn't even begin to address the serious issues Berkeley has around race, nor would it do anything to proactively make Berkeley a better place for people of color, but is one small act the school can do to be a little less unwelcoming to people of color.
3/30/2019 17:14:03 Racism should never be tolerated in any of its forms, whether overt, as when Boalt spewed his racist comments, or covert, as when Berkeley Law continued to carry his name and therefore remain complicit in his racist doctrine. Berkeley should have changed the name a long time ago. But thanks to our new Dean, Dean Chemerinsky, we have finally taken action to right a longstanding wrong. Change the name.
3/30/2019 14:59:19 I am in support of this proposal. I am an alum of Boalt Hall (1980) and a lecturer there since 1988, whose title has been John and Elizabeth Boalt Lecturer to designate that I've been teaching at least 20 years. I participated to some extent in the process that the law school undertook in considering changing the name to Berkeley Law, and think it's a good idea because of the racist actions of John Boalt. I have asked Dean Chemerinsky if my title can be changed to Herma Hill Kay Lecturer, and he assented.
3/29/2019 17:21:31 I support Dean Chemerinsky's reasoned and thoughtful recommendation of removing the name "Boalt Hall" from Berkeley Law's building. It is ethically imperative to recognize the damage xenophobia and racism continue to cause, especially in the United States, and to formally realign our community away from such discriminatory thought and language.
3/29/2019 14:25:42 I am the John H. Boalt Professor of Law Emeritus.
I have had a long time connection to the Berkeley Law School , I felt that as a professor of law for almost 40 years I was  in many ways deprived of a chance to be heard  on the naming proposal. To put it mildly I should have been contacted., I was duped, to put it bluntly..
I taught in Berkeley since 1958 and retired in 1996. I published many legal papers, with the ABA publishing an Anthology of my work. I taught in many schools here and abroad. I founded the International construction law conference. I started the concept of Construction Law now taught in 30 schools. I gave luster to Berkeley Law. I should have been contacted directly and heard. I was not.
To remove the Boalt Hall name on the Law Building for  a supposed racist remark  more than a century ago for anti Chinese immigration speech is the worst example of political correctness.
I  oppose the Law School proposal as to Boalt name on the Law School.
3/28/2019 10:57:25 I fully support Dean Chemerinsky's proposal.
3/28/2019 9:57:20 Yes, we should absolutely change the name!  Buildings should be named after people who are role models for the kind of person students aspire to become through their time at Berkeley.
3/28/2019 9:50:38 I believe that de-naming Berkeley Law's building "Boalt Hall" would not hurt, and would only help, this law school. There is no need for John Boalt's name to ceremoniously live on in connection with a school that stands for the opposite of the views he espoused--a school that strives to promote the advancement and retention of lawyers of ALL backgrounds in a profession that desparately needs these voices. The many diverse students at Berkeley Law have continued to achieve excellence in spite of the rhetoric of John Boalt and the damaging and hurtful views of many like him. It is understood that Elizabeth Boalt's contributions will not be forgotten, nor should they be. But we are not (John) Boalt. We are Berkeley Law. 
3/27/2019 11:49:06 I support renaming the building and concur with Dean Chemerinsky's assessment.
3/27/2019 11:19:28 I think we should change it because Boalt clearly said many things that do not support  the current  values of Berkeley and in fact were counterproductive to them. I do not want the Berkeley community to be associated with nor honor such a man. 
3/27/2019 10:38:46 If John Boalt had donated the money, I would want his name removed.  However, it was not him; it was his wife.  Removing the Boalt name sends a message, oft repeated in college donations, that controversial figures will not be honored for their donations, even if the money is given from a pure heart.  If I was the spouse of a rich person who held controversial views, I would withhold donating to a university for this reason.   Whether the name is kept or removed, I hope that we would continue to honor our donors, particularly those who in themselves did not necessarily subscribe to unpleasant views.
3/27/2019 10:07:38 I'm deeply concerned that, in a climate of rapidly rising education costs and no clear indication of increasing quality, that the administration would spend so much time, effort, and money investigating this issue. This much is clearly documented in the De-naming Memorandum, which almost seems proud of the 5-person committee process that started in Nov 2017. 3 committee members appear to have participated as a part of their general job duties.

This is a clear waste of resources, regardless of the outcome of the name-change.

Please, UCB, please stop spending so frivolously. I'd rather these resources go to education-related expenses than to adminstrative hand-wringing. Alternatively, you could reduce the financial burdens on us, our families, and the taxpayers by avoiding it altogether.

On a small sidenote... is unfortunate that I feel the need to submit this comment anonymously, for fear of academic and social retribution. 
3/27/2019 6:46:52 I agree that we should de-name Boalt Hall. 
3/26/2019 13:30:44 I support removing the name of Boalt from the law school building. In light of his expressed racism, we do not need to continue to honor John Boalt. Likewise, we need to support students of color at the law school who have expressed their discomfort concerning the name. 
3/26/2019 11:21:26 It has come to my attention that John Boalt, the school's namesake, has an unsavory reputation that perhaps we might not want to have continually so-closely associated with our school. "Berkeley Law" is a great name for the school. There doesn't seem to be any need for "Boalt Hall."
3/26/2019 10:27:15 I fully support this petition to de-name Boalt Hall, given the racist ideas, and quite possibly acts, that John Boalt represents. This de-naming should be one of many across the Berkeley campus, several buildings and spaces of which continue to bear the names of, and in effect honor, highly problematic individuals. 
3/26/2019 9:45:16 As a UC Berkeley alumna, former Berkeley Law employee and current Haas employee, I 100% support renaming Boalt Hall. We do not want our school associated with racists. Keeping the name after learning of John Boalt's words is an embarrassment to the Berkeley brand and antithetical to our values. It would be a slap in the face to students of color who are considering Berkeley Law or even Cal as an option.
3/25/2019 20:31:41 I strongly support removing the Boalt name from this building. Keeping it there sends a message that the university will platform and celebrate racists for posterity simply because they have given money to the school. The building deserves to be named after a non-racist, an actively good person whose valued aligned with those that Berkeley espouses: diversity and inclusion. To keep this name here would be hypocritical 
3/25/2019 17:13:05 If there truly is "no room for racism", then there shouldn't be an ENTIRE BUILDING dedicated to a racist.
3/25/2019 16:51:56 I agree with Dean Chemerinsky's decision to remove the Boalt name from the law school building. I think lots of other things could and should be done to remember the racist past of our country and Berkeley Law School will rise to that challenge. I am sure. Several worthy suggestions were made in the Town Hall last year. I look forward to seeing many of them implemented.
3/25/2019 16:49:31 I support the removal of the Boalt name.
3/25/2019 16:31:51 The analysis and recommendations by Dean Chemerinsky and the committee were very thoughtful and, for me, convincing. People who are ready to consider the past harmless tend to be those who were not, are not, in harm's way.
3/25/2019 15:21:24 I firmly support the recommendations of the Name Committee Report. My feelings match those expressed in Section II (Feedback) ¶ 2.

(1) In ¶ 3 of that section, the report notes that some opposed to the name change see it as a promise breached. Perhaps it is. That is acceptable, even preferable, when we discover that the promise binds us to an untenable situation in which our name reflects the opposite of what we strive to be. Let the name not be erased completely from memory, but memorialized critically.

(2) Many do not want to see Berkeley Law's reputation "harmed" by a name change. Fair. But it seems more likely that the school's reputation hinges less on the old nickname and more on showing the world the seriousness of our commitment to diversity, tolerance, and equity.

(3) When some argue that the name "Boalt" is a vital piece of our tradition, we must remember that that tradition is one created by and for monied white men. Is that worth preserving? I would say unequivocally "no." We have an incredible, once-in-a-generation opportunity to bravely turn a new page and redefine what tradition means at Berkeley Law.
3/25/2019 15:03:05 I support a change of name.  What for me is at stake is not erasing the ugly traces of an earlier eugenic and racial biology at Cal. These traces have long been invisible given the widespread comfort many (myself included) used to take from the name of Boalt Hall.  "Boalt" for many years reminded me of the legacy of efforts of the school's students, alumni, and faculty to render this country and this planet a more just, inclusive, and healthy environment.  But the name no longer has that capacity.
This is less a matter of a reckoning with the past than with the present: publicly-condoned racism is on the rise in many countries; it is used by the President of the United States; the Roberts Court has undone the power of the Voting Rights Act and other legislative measure to limit racialized exclusions in the Jim Crow South and beyond.  The change of name is not enough to orient the university and its law school to these challenges: but it reminds us of the necessity of grappling, as a community of scholarship and professional training, with them.  
3/25/2019 14:18:03 I support Dean Chemerinsky's name change proposal and want to thank him and the original review committee for their thoughtful attention to process, which allowed the law school and its community to have a considered and well-informed discussion. I found persuasive the Dean's observation that, unlike some other famously controversial names, there "are good reasons to honor these individuals notwithstanding their racist statements and actions. I cannot think of a comparable reason why we should continue to honor John Boalt." Nor can I.
3/25/2019 12:40:31 This seems like a non-problem to me. Why not just declare that the name refers to Mrs. Boalt, who is the person who donated the money, anyway? I think people on campus tend to be unaware that the Law School actually has a national name associated with Boalt.
3/25/2019 12:21:59 I am in favor of removing the name Boalt from the law school. I am an attorney. I received my JD from UCLA School of Law (note the name) in 1975. I have been active in the California legal community from 1972 to the present. In my experience and opinion, the name "Boalt Hall" adds nothing to the prestige of the school or to the status of its graduates.  And, in fact, insisting on holding on to the name after the racism of its name-sake has been fully exposed, can only disparage its reputation and embarrass its alumni.   
3/25/2019 11:47:55 Agreed that the name of Boalt Hall should be changed given his documented racist writings.  
3/25/2019 11:38:02 The myth that we shouldn't judge people in the past with modern standards silences the voices of the many groups and individuals who ardently fought against institutionalizing racism in U.S. law. The Boalt's racist ideology has no place at our public institution. 
3/25/2019 11:25:55 No campus building should be named after any person, living or dead. Try instead the names of the flora and fauna that are native to our great state of California. In example, what is now Davis Hall can become Redwood Hall because it so tall. Is there a brown building on campus? Call it Bruin Hall.

I doubt this will impact the university's fundraising abilities, assuming people donate with a genuine desire to benefit the school. If donors are only persuaded to give through an appeal to their narcissism, insisting a campus building use their name, we should not want to associate with such 'philanthropist' anyhow.

The departments that occupy each building can nominate and vote on new names that fit this criteria. A campus wide process for selecting new names for every building also seems fair. I hope the very process of coming up with and ultimately voting for building names will generate a great deal of excitement and sense of community across campus.
3/25/2019 10:39:06 Remove the name Boalt. We should disassociate from Boalt as a racist symbol. Berkeley Law should honor someone we can be proud of rather than someone who has a history of abusing and alienating people of color and indigenous people.
3/25/2019 10:36:47 I'm a 20 year employee of the University, but I've been on campus since the 1970's, when my mother went here and then taught here.  So I pretty much bleed blue and gold.  The purpose of the University is to bring the light, "FIAT LUX", and it's pretty clear that if we are honest and have courage, that this is exactly what the Law Dean proposes, and should be fully supported.  Habit and emotional attachment is unpersuasive to me when we are looking at a symbol of things that should not be venerated, regardless of how long ago they were. 

This is Berkeley.  We need to push forward.  Personally, I'd love to see it renamed Ginsberg Hall at some point, but in any case we need to, at minimum, stop venerating racist views.  
3/25/2019 10:31:37 I fully support the recommendation to remove the name Boalt from the law school's primary building. The committee's process was thorough, transparent, and without bias. I understand the resistance to change as a sentimental person, but when information comes to light that is not in line with our institutional values, the institution should be able to take steps to disassociate as much as possible, as it has done. 
3/25/2019 9:59:45 I am in support of this proposal, because it thoughtfully adresses the arguments on both sides of the issue.  This thoroughness is a good model for future efforts regarding naming and de-naming.
3/25/2019 9:51:22 The building should be renamed. Berkeley should not honor people who were racist and exclusionary to people or students. Having Boalt Hall be a part of this campus goes against our Principles of Community, and it should be renamed as soon as possible.
3/25/2019 9:50:23 I am FOR the removal of Boalt's name from Berkeley Law's building.  The great contributions made by Chinese immigrants to the nation should be recognized by removing Boalt's name and legacy from Berkeley Law, where students of all ethnicity learn to uphold equality of all citizens.
3/25/2019 9:43:24 In light of the racist ideology promoted publicly by the building's namesake, it would be a positive reflection on the current Building Name Review Committee to consider a change.

Remarks include:

"that the Chinese might be smarter than some native tribes and preferable to the
'African Negro,' but 'the Chinaman has brought to us and planted within our border all the
vicious practices and evil tendencies of his home … .' He wrote that the 'Caucasian and
Mongolian' races were 'separated by a remarkable divergence in intellectual character and
disposition.' In Boalt’s view, the Chinese could not assimilate and the races should not associate with one another."

That such views should be celebrated, anointed, or honored before our diverse student body at an institutional level is not only distasteful but shameful.  
3/25/2019 9:43:17 I agree with the proposed de-naming of Boalt Hall. I propose naming it after someone else like Anna Pauline "Pauli" Murray, noted alumni and civil rights lawyer.
3/25/2019 9:36:57 The building name should have been changed immediately once Boalt's racism came to light. Crucially, Boalt's vileness went beyond mere opinion and into the realm of action. His support of the Chinese Exclusion Act contributed to a direct damaging of the fabric of American society and culture, and should be repudiated with every resource the University has available. Change the name now and remove a highly embarrassing and inappropriate vestige of a less enlightened past.
3/25/2019 9:31:50 I think honoring someone with racist views is contrary to the spirit of UC Berkeley, and I am grateful to read the thoughtful proposal to de-name Boalt Hall.  No doubt the proposal will be adopted, and I support that action. 

And, I also think this may unintentionally leave White people with the thought that by de-naming Boalt, we are somehow participating in a partial absolution, or denial, or negation, of the continued responsibility to hold ourselves individually and corporately accountable for all the ways that institutional white power and privilege continue to do active harm to peoples of colors.  Can the Berkeley community keep a public list of all such de-named buildings, gifts, etc., with the reasons why names were removed?  Can we hold a public reckoning, similar to the campus memorial honoring faculty/staff/students who died in the last year?  Can Berkeley provide matching gifts, in the amount of the original Boalt gift, for example, for efforts to dismantle white privilege?  Who will be courageous enough to lead Berkeley to do the right thing, not only symbolically (e.g. de-naming Boalt), but also by taking concrete actions to formally relinquish all ill-gotten white privilege and power, because the continued cost of maintaining whiteness is not worth the price it exacts upon other people's bodies and lives.   

Thank you for receiving my comments.  I am submitting my name / departmental email address but my views are my personal expression and not a reflection of my professional affiliation with the campus.   
3/25/2019 9:25:25 The building should be renamed. We do not need to honor the legacy of a racist by naming buildings after them - especially if we are not required to have this name due to donations. Were I a student, or staff member working in that building, I would not feel comfortable being in a building every day, that was named after a racist. 
3/25/2019 9:01:08 My grandparents immigrated from Japan, and I have experienced racism, so yes, I support de-naming. 
3/25/2019 8:48:42 I fully support the proposal of the Boalt-Hall Building Name Review Committee and Dean Chemerinsky.  John Boalt’s contrtibutions to law or civic affairs does not remotely outweigh his advocacy of racial policies that then and now are profoundly out of keeping with the nation’s values.  There should be no hesistance in removing his name from the building and memorialising the history in a more appropriate way.
3/25/2019 8:25:18 Since it is clear that Boalt's character does not warrant having a campus building named in his honor, I move that the campus name the Law School building after the only human being I can recall whose probity cannot be questioned.  There would, of course, be a certain irony in this renaming, but I am sure that the Cal campus will be proud to call its Law School "Jesus Hall."
3/25/2019 8:24:57 I agree with the proposal to remove the use of the name.  Part of our healing as a nation has to include the atonement and the correction of past wrongs.  We recognize and acknowledge a history that is wrought with injustice and wrong-doing, yet for the Berkeley Law School in 2019 and beyond, we must not move forward under the namesake of anyone that has historically subjugated or impeded the justice and fair treatment of others.  We cannot teach the study of law and emphasize justice, equity, and speak about the appreciation of diversity and our global community, but continue to associate the name of our institution infrastructure with one who said and advocated for "racist and vile things".  It is beyond disappointing there are those that do not recognize this and hang on tradition even if that "tradition" is extremely harmful and the antithesis of justice and equity.
3/25/2019 8:07:46 I strongly support the de-naming of Boalt Hall. Students who endure racism every day should not need to be reminded of Boalt's words every time they go to class.
3/25/2019 7:16:09 Racial hostility is already felt at Cal, changing these buildings names will be a significant step forward in the school denouncing hate speech and white supremacy on campus. Next up is Barrows. Please hurry.
3/25/2019 6:59:57 Dean Chemerinsky's memo to the committee is very well thought out. We should take the opportunity to de-name Boalt Hall and let the name revert to something administratively simple, such as Law Complex West Wing until such time as a donor or alumnus presents another opportunity to rename the building. I commend Dean Chemerinsky on his forthrightness and the process by which he and his school came to this discussion and potential next steps.
3/25/2019 5:35:11 I think it's incredibly important for the university to make all students feel welcome.  Having a prominent building named for someone who held anti-Asian views communicates to Asian students that their presence at Berkeley is not valued.  I strongly support renaming Boalt Hall.
3/25/2019 0:40:40 I'm for the removal of the “Boalt” name from campus, but ONLY if we also ban the use of phrases such as “no can do” and “long time no see” at Cal since they, too, have racist origins. 
3/24/2019 17:53:04 As someone who's lived in Oakland, California for almost 40 years and attended UC Berkeley, I think the building should continue to be named Boalt Hall. The school was initially built with money from Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt… not with money her husband donated himself.

It’s easy to attack someone after they’re dead and unable to defend themselves. I’m guessing descendants of Elizabeth and John Boalt are proud to have their name associated with a prestigious law school… why deny them that legacy? They didn’t do anything wrong. If UC Berkeley wants to remove the name Boalt from their law school, then they should return the money Elizabeth donated to her family.

Lastly, we’re viewing John Boalt’s words through a 21st century lens. I don’t know that he would be called racist in the 19th century… as much as ignorant. There are probably hundreds of buildings in the United States named after people who, today, would be called racist. Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt should be remembered as a woman who generously donated to UC Berkeley in order to build a law school. By eradicating the name Boalt from the law school, her legacy is being denied… and that’s called misogyny.
3/24/2019 17:29:09 Big thanks to everyone at the law school who worked on this. To UC Berkeley, please just change the name already. 
3/24/2019 16:58:02 One of my most treasured possessions is a photograph of the Berkeley law school class of 1923 on the steps of the then Boalt Hall; two of the graduates in the photo are my grandmother and grandfather. But we now know that Boalt is utterly undeserving of having his name on any building. Not removing his name would be grossly offensive. I strongly favor removal.
3/24/2019 16:42:49 I support removing Boalt as the name of Berkeley Law School and undertaking a deliberative process to rename the School.  
3/24/2019 16:17:44 I completely agree with the proposal to remove the Boalt Hall name. There is no need for the law school to be associated with a legacy of white supremacy. I applaud this step in the right direction.
3/24/2019 15:14:01 On the ground that Mr. Boalt made explicitly racist remarks, there is no question in my mind that his name be disassociated with "Boalt Hall".  His comments do not reflect and even disrespect the inclusivity values of Berkeley on diversity.
3/24/2019 14:40:48 I don't agree with going back and re-evaluating historical figures using modern mores.  If you're going to do that then maybe start with the name of the city and school: Bishop George Berkeley held racist views that were a product of his time yet today would be very offensive.
3/24/2019 14:14:40 Boalt Hall needs to be changed. John Henry Boalt was instrumental in pushing the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 — the nation’s first immigration ban on a specific group of people. In one influential treatise, he wrote that the Chinese were unassimilable liars, murderers and misogynists who provoked “unconquerable repulsion.” Change needs to happen and this is a step in the right direction. 
3/24/2019 14:00:28 Boalt's name is a reminder of white supremacy in this country and the racial discrimination that caused many people of color to suffer and feel degraded. The erasure of Boalt's name sends a strong message to the racist and radical individuals and groups by emphasizing that UC Berkeley has no tolerance for racist remarks. The erasure of his name is a way of supporting the minorities in this campus.
3/24/2019 12:27:55 We DO NOT need to honor racist slaveholders on the UC Berkeley campus. Remove ALL instances of the name from the school!
3/24/2019 11:52:16 As a member of the Berkeley Law community for the past 30.7 years, I support the de-naming the wing of the building known as “Boalt Hall" for one primary reason: I don't feel John Boalt's name and his legacy of racism and bigotry, e.g., “The Chinese Question," are in alignment with the mission of Berkeley Law or UC Berkeley.
3/24/2019 11:20:00 The law school, under Dean Chemerinsky's leadership, engaged in a thorough and thoughtful review of the issue.  The Dean's written proposal is well-reasoned, sensitive to the range of expressed concerns, and reaches the necessary, compelling conclusion that a Berkeley Law building should not be named in honor of John Boalt.
3/24/2019 10:45:34 The name of Boalt Hall should be changed to something more appropriate and representative of the Berkeley community
3/24/2019 9:19:22 My thanks to the Committee for their thoughtful review and recommendation.

I concur with the request to de-name.
3/24/2019 9:17:56 I am strongly in favor of removing the name.  We must remember and embrace history and also learn from it by not reproducing racist legacies.  Rename the law school after someone who works for legal equity for all people.  Please consider adding an informational plaque near or in the building that details the history of the law school, the previous name, the reason for the name change, and the goals and mission of Berkeley's law program.
3/24/2019 8:47:51 I support the removal of the name Boalt Hall. We should not have a building on campus named after a man who advocated for racist practices. 
3/24/2019 8:06:07 I am aware the University Administration or some one or ones in proper authority can name the law school  whatever they wish.  However, I think that decision carries with it the legal and moral obligation to recompense the Boalt heirs the present dollar value of the gift.  Further, as I recall, Berkeley was a religious figure, a Bishop I believe in the Anglican Church.  I am sure there are many who will object to the  notion of having their law school named after a religious functionary not of their faith or for that matter a religious functionary. There were atheist in my class of 1952 I believe.
The only politically correct renaming I can see is to give the school a number for a name. Like, Law School #7.  Or perhaps a number that reflects Boalt's national ranking.  That way we have a fresh number every year and at the same time inform prospective applicants of something to keep in mind before they apply.  Maurice Engel, UCB '49, Boalt '52.
3/24/2019 1:44:14 As a student, I agree with the proposal. John Boalt was a racist. Although he was partially a product of his time, the continued use of his name on the building demonstrates tolerance towards hatefulness. Furthermore, Boalt does not represent the principles of UC Berkeley as a school, not does it represent the students. 
3/23/2019 22:45:44 The name should definitely be changed. I think it should be renamed after an important lawyer that shaped the world like Thurgood Marshall, who despite extreme adversity fought for justice. Changing the name to Thurgood Marshall Hal would be an important step to begin dissipating the highly toxic and antiblack climate around UC Berkeley which ,because of this, is currently unsought after by many amazing black students.
3/23/2019 19:22:39 I strongly favor removing the name of Boalt from as much as practicable.  On the other hand, it is the case that nobody I know -- I think including my late father was was a Berkeley Law alum -- had any idea who John Boalt was, and certainly no idea what he stood for (although I never knew that "Boalt Law" wasn't the formal name of Berkeley's law school!).  That is why the vanity of attaching names to buildings is so futile -- after about one generation, unless the person is independently famous, nobody will know or care who they were.  And there are equally egregious cases of buidling naming that cry out even more for immediate change  -- the J.Edgar Hoover FBI building, for example.  While the Boalt name change may smack of political correctness, it is, in fact, the politically correct (i.e. proper) thing to do, given what we now know about this namesake.  It has been my experience that people who most strongly belittle political correctness are generally the more insensitive, ignorant, and unsympathetic people (like our current U.S. president).
3/23/2019 18:58:27 Please remove the name. From what I understand, he was a racist and bigot.
3/23/2019 18:28:06 As the advocate for a safe, inclusive environment for all, UC Berkeley should not tolerate any form of racism, in the past, the present, or the future. I strongly supports Dean Erwin Chemerinsky's request to remove the name of Boalt Hall. 
3/23/2019 16:43:08 I read Dean Chemerinsky's thoughtful analysis of the question, and I was convinced that the renaming of the building is in the best interest of our community and aligned with our community values. In his reasoning, Chemerinsky brings up an interesting point: that a person who has voiced or enacted hateful positions (such as slaveholding) may have also accomplished great and worthy things, thus allowing us to continue to commemorate the person in spite of their dark past. He cites Washington and Jefferson as examples. I can see the validity of this point, and I see also that Boalt was not sufficiently distinguished in worthy actions to allow us to look past his unworthy ones. But there are other cases here in the Bay Area that might be debated: Jack London, for instance, wrote extremely racist texts about Chinese-Americans that are not as well known as The Call of the Wild and White Fang, but were read broadly during his lifetime. Jack London Square in Oakland is less than a mile from Oakland's Chinatown. Perhaps something we can lobby for is the contextualization of a person's fame: where we set up a monument to Jack London (such as the statue of London on Jack London Square), we can inform the public as well about the racist background to some of the person's beliefs. That could be helpful in a case like Jack London's, but Boalt does not enjoy sufficient fame to require contextualization. Removing the honorific from the building seems the proper course, out of respect for everyone in our community.
3/23/2019 16:23:53 Having read the official proposal, I am impressed at the amount of research and analysis that has gone into developing this recommendation and support it fully.
3/23/2019 15:36:37 Great idea, it promotes what many schools preach and often do not deliver "diversity, inclusion and representation". Especially moving forward into a time where diversity will play an essential role in our economy and society I believe this is the right move. 
3/23/2019 15:12:12 Don't rename the building. Until recently, the name was not controversial; John Boalt had little enough influence on immigration law that we did not remember his opinion. The name of the building holds significance to our alumni and many current students, and should not be changed for transient reasons. John Boalt had an odious opinion, but did not himself inflict harm on anyone; rather his widow donated a large sum on money to the university to honor his name. It would be more fitting to keep Boalt's name on a building producing students whose diversity and excellence proves him wrong than to efface and erase his name.
3/23/2019 15:05:59 I strongly agree with the sentiments and arguments expressed in the proposal and would like to see the Berkeley Law building be de-named as Boalt Hall.
3/23/2019 14:55:02 I don’t see what’s too debate here.  This country’s wealth is founded on exploitation and racism and Boalt unrepentantly benefitted from that and there’s no need to honor him any further.  Change the name of the building.
3/23/2019 14:37:47 As a Chinese-American graduate student who walks past Boalt Hall every day, I strongly support removing the name of Boalt from the building. To keep it would be an implicit and explicit endorsement of racism. 
3/23/2019 14:08:34 As a member of the Berkeley community since I was a freshman in 1967, with three degrees from this University, as a former President of the Cal Alumni Association, and as a current faculty member in both the Rhetoric and Political Science departments, I strongly oppose the renaming of Boalt Hall.  As a person of color, who has felt the sting of discrimination during my lifetime, I fully respect the concerns of those who do not want to reward the racialism of the past, or the racism of the present.  But I do not believe in editing history to meet the perspectives of contemporary politics.  If we wish to balance the record, then let’s do so by prominently telling the story as students, faculty and staff enter the building; posted in a prominent position.  But erasing history for the politics of the present would invalidate everything I teach in my classrooms, and diminish the integrity of our academic mission.
3/23/2019 13:45:21 I support the name change.  We can choose what values to hold up as ideals.  The current name does not reflect the values we as a community want to honor.
3/23/2019 13:12:28 "Boalt" is really difficult to pronounce, so it would be great to have a name with a more straightforward spelling.
3/23/2019 13:09:27 I agree with Dean Chemerinsky's recommendation.  It's no different from Southern cities removing statues of Jefferson Davis.  I am certain there are illustrious former alumni / alumnae, and / or former Deans, of our Law School, who could be honored by naming the same building after them instead of Boalt.
3/23/2019 12:23:05 We have had individuals in our history that clearly stood on the wrong side of humanity and they should clearly be recognized for their mistakes and they should not have buildings in their name.  We have to send a clear message to everyone in the US and the world that history will not judge you kindly if you are a racist. 
3/23/2019 11:46:17 I find the proposal very reasonable & agreeable. Even if the de-naming does not occur, this piece of history shall be celebrated, even physically in the Hall
3/23/2019 11:45:52 Students of color, including east asian students are pervasive victims of profiling and discrimination. This is the least you can do.
3/23/2019 11:34:29 This righteous breast beating has gone on too long and too far.  Let's consign to damnation every ancestor who ever did/said anything over the past 50 years and more that we now find offensive, and there will be no one in "heaven" at all.  I am sure that none of the currently righteous self-styled victims of life will pass scrutiny of everything they ever did/said in their own relatively-brief life.  (a) Boalt had nothing to do with the founding of the UCBerkeley law school.  (b) He died before his wife offered the money to get things started.  Have we looked into Mrs. Boalt's life? What we do know is that she did at least one good thing:  She donated the money to get the law school going.  (c) Boalt Hall has had a distinguished reputation, and despite the misguided and ignorant dicta of a previous Boalt dean who claimed no one east of California recognized "Boalt" as the name of a law school, it has long been broadly known and much envied place at home and abroad.    
3/23/2019 10:37:48 I fully support renaming Boalt Hall, however, I would I would strongly recommend accompanying the renaming with a mechanism by which we can publicly acknowledge this decision. For instance - a placard that notes that the building was formally named Boalt Hall, however after taking into consideration Boalt's ideals, which were not aligned with those of Berkeley, it was renamed. It is extremely important to not paint over past injustices and decisions which have created a hostile environment for individuals. If we do not acknowledge our mistakes we cannot begin to reconcile past injustices.
3/23/2019 10:35:49 As an alumnus of Boalt Hall ('67), I object to sacrificing decades of proud tradition on the altar of political correctness.  The name Boalt is associated with this tradition, not with the person after whom the building was named.  His actions are so remote and obscure that they are meaningless in comparison.  Don't let the red guards and cowardly administrators destroy our tradition.
3/23/2019 10:19:03 Boalt should not have a building anymore.
3/23/2019 10:10:46 Leave it. 
3/23/2019 9:50:35 Support the de-naming proposal as Cal must stand up against racists
3/23/2019 9:49:29 As a Chinese student, I absolutely abhor what John Boalt has commented on the Chinese and African American, which is sheer racism. HOWEVER, I strongly OPPOSE the idea of de-naming the building. We honor a person for his great deeds and generosity, not because he was a saint (especially with the moral standards almost a century later), nor because we agree with everything that they have said. Limited by their own historical context, everyone might have said or done something unpalatable today. Washington and Lee University decides to keep its name, for both men, with all the things they might have done wrong. And so shall we.
3/23/2019 9:44:41 I am in complete agreement with the proposal to remove the Boalt name from the building. 
If I can bore everyone with a few historical tidbits, I am sure it is true, as Erwin notes, that the law school has never been "officially named" anything but the School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, but this does not mean that the name Boalt Hall was not "officially" USED. 
My letter of admission to the class of 1977 came on letterhead from the "School of Law (Boalt Hall)":  Seemed pretty official to me at the time, and the Dean of Admissions assured me in the letter that I would enjoy my studies at "Boalt Hall" [which was true for the most part]. 
My library card [yes, I still have it] was from the "Boalt Hall Law Library, University of California, Berkeley, California":  No mention of the Berkeley School of Law.
The commencement program in 1977 was for the "School of Law, Boalt Hall": No parentheses around the name this time and the lettering [the next line down, to be sure] was exactly the same size. 
The certificate we received at commencement commemorated the event at "the School of Law, Boalt Hall, University of California, Berkeley":  I'll stop now.
None of this really has anything to do with the name of the building that houses the school, of course.  I had some feelings about changing the name of the school itself, because I went to Boalt Hall:  Berkeley Law and Berkeley School of Law were not anything I heard for my three years at the school or for many years thereafter. 
But in the end I agreed that scrapping Boalt Hall as a way of referring to the school was the right thing to do, and, that decision having been made, I see no point in referring to a portion of the school's physical structure by the name. 
Warm regards to all,
Norm Vance '77
3/23/2019 9:36:22 1. Change it. But please stop claiming it wasn't 'officially' called Boalt Hall. Everything I ever saw or heard about the law school for several decades was simply "Boalt" or  "Boalt law school" and I was not in the law school, so it wasn't some 'internal nickname'.   2.  Do not name it (or anything else)  HAAS, it's confusing enough that half the campus is called HAAS. 3. Do not try "moving a name" like when you IDIOITICALLY named a DIFFERENT building Warren, leading to CONTINUED CONFUSION when someone asks for directions to Warren.
3/23/2019 9:27:08 Please remove the name "Boalt" from the building. John Boalt was not an essential figure to the university or law school, and his statements bring shame to the large Chinese community at Berkeley Law.
3/23/2019 9:07:15 1882... just several years before a mob of people performed a mass murder of Italian Americans held in a jail in New Orleans.
3/23/2019 7:28:39 We absolutely should remove the name from the building. To ask students of Chinese heritage to attend school in a building named after a man who so dehumanized them is no better than asking Black families to picnic in a public park under the gaze of a confederate general's statue. Boalt did not exemplify the values our school holds dear, and fact, his words were antithetical to them.

This is not about being tolerant of discomforting ideas.Our school should be encouraging of a healthy debate of a wide span of ideas. Healthy debates, however, start with mutual respect and recognition of each other's humanity. The writings of Boalt demonstrate neither.

This is not a matter of revising history but rather a matter of revising hero's. Boalt's story will remian in books and collections. His history should remian, situated in honest and accurate context. Naming a building in someone's honor isn't about preserving history, it's about celebrating history. All history deserved remenberance; not all history deserves celebration.

If we do not remove the Boalt name from the building then neither the law school nor the university are the instututions we claim to be. This is a decision that, though not simple, should be easy.
3/23/2019 6:12:51 Respectfully, all buildings on our campus should not be named after people/donors. After all, people are eventually forgotten but the ideas and values they stood behind are immortalized forever. Our buildings should not represent values indirectly via people who may have held them, but rather the values themselves. I suggest a new name such as 'Honesty Hall', 'Truth Hall', or 'Rationality Hall' to honor tenants today being discarded at an alarming rate in the field of law.
3/23/2019 6:11:26 Removing John Boalt's name from Berkeley Law School makes sense, given that he is associated with racist remarks/rhetoric against Chinese  people, Black people, and Indigenous/Native Americans.
3/23/2019 5:46:05 I think you should leave it. But...if you do change it, you might as well rename the entire law school. It seems silly to only rename the building and keep the same name for the law school. 
3/23/2019 3:27:48 I stand in solidarity with Berkeley students of color. 
3/23/2019 3:25:24 Ungrateful and pusillanimous.  
3/23/2019 1:44:43 I think removing the 'Boalt Hall' name is the right thing to do. As our society grows and learns from the mistakes of the past, it's important to send a strong signal that hate and intolerance is unacceptable. At Berkeley, we should forge a new path moving forward and use a name for the building that does not connote racism.
3/23/2019 0:38:31 Personally keeping the name does not affect nor personally offend me. I have never felt insecurity about the naming of buildings regardless of the persons past related to its naming.
That being said, I realize the Berkeley community is very much about inclusion, safety, and feeling comfortable on campus, so I would be in absolute favor of the name removal were it to help bring peace to others since I am not personally invested in it.
I also very much appreciate the citing that mrs. Boalt has donated generously and an effort to continue recognition of that by leaving her portrait in the hall is admirable. Any other way the rest of the student body feels comfortable recognizing her kindness while still removing the boalt name from the hall sounds favorable to me.
Thank you
3/23/2019 0:17:08 Please rename this building. The Chinese Exclusion Act and general racism towards all people of Asian descent was and is one of the largest stains on this country's history. Today, fear and hatred of immigrants is rampant and keeps us from viewing one another as human. UC Berkeley should be a shining beacon of peace, friendship, and diversity. It cannot do that while also revering a man who supports racist ideologies, nevertheless one who was so instrumental in it spreading. The university is only a dim light so far, and has a ways to go before it is bright enough to lead us into a better future, but renaming a building to honor someone invested in uniting people rather than dividing them is an important step nonetheless.
3/22/2019 23:28:52 His greatest achievement was fueling the racial divide among white people and Asian Americans, which should not be honored.
3/22/2019 23:22:30 I support striking the Boalt name from the building.
3/22/2019 22:54:57 I support Dean Chemerinsky's proposal to de-name Boalt Hall, and echo one Town Hall speaker's argument that a one-time gift of money need not constitute an everlasting promise of recognition (100+ years is a good run). I am strongly critical of another Town Hall speaker's argument -- even if it might be true -- that removing the name would cause loss of trust from potential donors. It would be a sad state of affairs for the University to prioritize the egos of future donors, whose reason for memorialization would be their economic privilege, over the values of the living community that makes up the University.
3/22/2019 22:07:06 I agree that we should rename Boalt hall. This campus is not a place to venerate racists. 
3/22/2019 21:48:32 About time. Change the name of the building asap and hopefully others on campus will follow suit. 
3/22/2019 21:37:47 The name should be removed and should be changed to something more reflective of the diversity of California.
3/22/2019 21:26:01 I agree with the proposal, it is in Berkeley's best interest to de-name Boalt Hall. 
3/22/2019 21:20:47 An excellent idea I am in full support of.
3/22/2019 21:13:28 If the building must be renamed, my recommendation is to name the building “Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt Hall” in recognition of her crucial role in providing funds for the construction of the original law building and establishing two endowed chairs. If that is unacceptable I would be to leave it unnamed until a suitably large donor could be found.
3/22/2019 21:02:09 I support de-naming Boalt Hall and changing the name to recognize another individual who has not made racist comments.
3/22/2019 20:47:06 I would like a compromise between erasing history and immortalizing bad behavior.  How about a sign that factually states what this person did.  Then a disclaimer that says all people are capable of great good or great harm.  Choose your legacy carefully.
3/22/2019 20:11:55 I agree with the Dean's proposal to stop using the name Boalt Hall.  I was born in this country to Chinese immigrants and all my life,  I have felt like I am being fed a diet of lies by those who refer to this country as  multicultural , a land of immigrants, a place of opportunity for all.  The racism and alienation I've experienced comes from the historical hegemony represented by John Boalt and others like him.  I believe that the hypocrisy of the white Anglo-Saxon Protestant narrative of this country must be overturned, and removing the honors bestowed upon those who represent such hypocrisy is an important step.
3/22/2019 20:00:59 I think this would be a great opportunity to correct two bad naming decisions at one blow, by renaming the building Kroeber Hall.
3/22/2019 19:59:44 I recommend keeping the current name. People are limited by their historic settings, and one should not use new standards to judge historic people. It is not fair.
3/22/2019 19:59:40 John Henry Boalt was a reprehensibly vile racist whose only accomplishment was propagating white supremacy. He labored to expel Chinese people from California, whom he looked at with “an unconquerable repulsion which it seems to me must ever prevent any intimate association or miscegenation of the races.” How can UC Berkeley entertain a principle of inclusion when we give our highest honors to people who champion white separatism?
3/22/2019 19:56:58 Yes, remove the name. Honoring racists is unacceptable.
3/22/2019 19:54:28 I am in favor of renaming the law school
3/22/2019 19:52:48 I support the renaming of Boalt Hall
3/22/2019 19:48:26 Remove the name
3/22/2019 19:38:31 Usually, especially in the public education system, we ignore the more unpleasant parts of America's deeply rooted racist history in favor of a less complicated master narrative, where only the white people matter and the other ethnic/minority groups played marginal roles in the making of America. One example of this "glossing over" of history includes textbooks conveniently not mentioning how white slave owners bred their slaves like cattle or how one slaveowner promised the unborn children of his slave to his daughter years before they even existed. No longer: in order to accurately understand American's real multiculutural history, we must acknowledge all perspectives, especially the mistreatment of non-Europeans at the hands of whites.

Though Boalt indeed contributed to his community, we can't ignore that his racist views do not align with our values today. One may argue that he was just an ordinary man who had views that his contemporary society said were acceptable. But we have the benefit of hindsight and can look back on history and judge for ourselves whether he deserves to have his name gracing the campus of a diverse and inclusive university, whether his character befits an individual who has a building named after them.

We must look at Boalt from a modern perspective, instead of excusing his actions as those of a man who was a product of his times. Otherwise, we end up forgetting the historical and political contexts so very important to issues of race today: we can't fight for equality without knowing where the inequality originated, without calling out white supremacy and oppression for what they are when they're so clearly visible.
3/22/2019 19:32:04 When I first came to here from Columbia University, I was impressed by how little commemoration of its history the Berkeley campus had.  One of the few exceptions to this was in the names of buildings.  We ought not to change these without serious reflection.

I know nothing of John Boalt other than what you have posted.  From that it appears to me that he was, at least in the public sphere, a truly reprehensible person.  Especially as we are living in a time when anti-Asian prejudice is at times publicly expressed, we should do all we can to combat it.

What, then, is to be done?  You say that Mrs. Boalt was a true friend of our university, and that she expressed this in generously aiding students.  If we were to name the Law School Elizabeth Josselyn Boalt Hall, we would retain its historical associations and at the same time honor someone who, from your account, was a very admirable person.
3/22/2019 19:31:09 I support the initiative to dename the Boalt building. The author of the proposal has clearly done his/her research and is willing to do the work needed to ensure that the process is smooth. 
3/22/2019 19:29:58 Please remove John Henry Boalt's name from UC Berkeley's Law School. Boalt was infamous for his racism towards Chinese people and Chinese Americans and was highly influential in the passing of the Chinese Exclusion Act. His outspoken sinophobia not only helped legitimize anti-Chinese sentiments in the US and California, but also promoted this discrimination to the point where Congress and Americans supported banning Chinese from immigrating to the US solely based on their race. We should not let such a clear cut racist have a legacy in modern culture nor besmirch Berkeley's reputation as an advocate and leader of moral fortitude and civil rights. Any association of our University to this bigot is an affront to the progress and achievements that the University has made in the way of civil liberties throughout its 150 years of existence. 
3/22/2019 19:27:41 I fully support Dean Chemerinsky’s request to remove the Boalt Hall name.
3/22/2019 19:16:58 Given that xenophobia is still rampant within this country, a name change for this building would send a message that UC Berkeley does not tolerate xenophobia, neither past nor present, and acknowledges the harm that has been done to the country and the people in it by by the rhetoric and actions of individuals such as John Henry Boalt, a racist who fought for discriminatory legislation targeting Chinese immigrants. Let Berkeley's legacy in this situation be one of condemning bigotry, rather than one of honoring racists, and change the name of Boalt Hall. 
3/22/2019 19:16:40 I agree that continuing to honor a blatantly racist and hateful man with a building name is unnecessary and offensive. We can and must do better to be create a positive, supportive campus climate for historically marginalized students, and this action is an important first step.
3/22/2019 19:16:21 I support a new name, one worthy of Cal's commitment to diversity in the 21st century, for what has been known as Boalt Hall. The future is multicultural!
3/22/2019 19:15:54 I agree fully with the renaming of Boalt Hall. While I was born in the United States, my parents and much of my family immigrated from China, and Boalt's comments deeply offend and to an extent, affected them in delaying the opportunity for them to travel to the United States. While many in the past have said racist things, and the things Boalt said may have been commonplace in the past, Boalt lacks the historical contributions that would merit overlooking the racist and offensive comments he made. I ask in strong terms that UC Berkeley rename Boalt Hall.
3/22/2019 19:12:59 Yeah, those were pretty ugly things that he never apologized for. We can respect Mrs. Boalt's will and still take the name off the building.
3/22/2019 19:09:11 This change is utterly disrespectful of the challenge of being human in one's society.  It carries the haughty implication that we, modern UC Berkeley people, reside at the moral pinnacle. What arrogance and intolerance.  
3/22/2019 18:59:01 Yes, it should be changed. Upon further investigation, Boalt was a man who lobbied for the Chinese Exclusion Act. I think just like rich people should not be allowed to pay to get into elite schools (apparently), they should not be given the privilege to have their names on buildings if they contributed to horrible things either.
3/22/2019 18:49:57 Dean Chemerinsky's report is a model of thoughtful reflection.  I am persuaded by his conclusions. 
3/22/2019 18:46:38 I strongly support this name change.
3/22/2019 18:44:08 I am in support of changing the building name to "Elizabeth Boalt Hall", but reduces the use of Boalt for Law school in other scenarios.

First, it is not a good idea to name the law school after John Boalt. I feel most people cannot relate to how discriminative the Chinese Exclusion Act has done to Chinese-American and international students from China. As a firm public supporter, with such a position, John Boalt stood in the opposite direction of our UC system's values today. His name does bring significant negative impact on the campus.

Second, Elizabeth Boalt did make a few significant contributions to the law school. And it seems there is no evidence that she was also anti-Chinese.

I think this renaming is fair. In particular, Elizabeth is an independent and kind donor to the Law school. It is incorrect to automatically attribute the gratitudes of the support to John Boalt as well. It is also incorrect to devalue Elizabeth's contribution because she changed her last name to Boalt. 
3/22/2019 18:40:10 This proposal creates a dangerous proposal. Using the logic of the proposal, we might as well erase Jefferson and Washington from our history because they kept slaves. We could overlook anachronistic views in light on Boalt's contribution.
3/22/2019 18:37:33 Remove the name of Boalt Hall. As a student at this University, I refuse to remain silent when many of our buildings bear the names of racist and discriminatory figures in our nation's history. I will not praise or acknowledge such figures, and changing the name of Boalt Hall will be a step in the right direction. Titles and names carry weight -- the weight of racist actions and ideologies, and it is harmful to our campus community and climate.
3/22/2019 18:33:46 I support removing his name from the building.
3/22/2019 18:31:46 I agree with removing/changing the name. It is not erasure to remove his name, but rather justice.
3/22/2019 18:31:45 I approve the proposal to de-name Boalt Hall and refer to it simply as Berkeley Law School, for all of the reasons enumerated by the Building Name Review Committee.
3/22/2019 18:31:01 I am writing as a staff member at Berkeley Law in order to wholeheartedly support Dean Chemerinsky's request. John Boalt's principal legacy is deeply offensive and, as noted by the Dean, there are few alternative reasons to honor John Boalt. I find it notable and commendable that the Dean will also take steps to ensure that the racist history of Chinese Exclusion Act not be forgotten. We must remember this history so that we can be sure to not repeat those mistakes.

Among similar conversations ongoing conversations around the country, I believe that UC Berkeley should be a progressive leader on this issue and approve this request to rename the building.
3/22/2019 18:26:42 Don't do it, societies were held at a different standard back then and while those actions should be condemned, it doesn't give us the right to remove individuals from history. Going by this logic we might as well change name of our capital, having Washington in it is a reference to our first president who happened to own slaves even though Washington was essential for our independence...see how much of a slippery slope it is if we decide to act on this?
 "Those that control the present control the past, and those that control the past control the future." 
3/22/2019 18:26:04 I support the name change.
3/22/2019 18:25:50 I fully support the removal of this name on the building and otherwise. We should not support the history of racism in any kind, especially in campus memorials. 
3/22/2019 18:23:13 I wholeheartedly endorse the de-naming of Boalt Hall. There are many more worthy legal figures for whom the building can be named, without marginalizing persons of color at Berkeley Law. Worries over branding seem attenuated. In the current social milieu, "Berkeley" draws more attention and recognition than "Boalt." Our reputation as a high-caliber law school mitigates any risk that people will somehow forget about us due to the name change. Change it. 
3/22/2019 18:22:21 I agree wholeheartedly that John Boalt’s name should not be on a campus building!
3/22/2019 18:21:37 I fully support the renaming of Boalt Hall. As the child of an Asian American Studies teacher and the product of a diverse community, it is shameful for our school to be proudly representing the name of someone who was undoubtedly prejudiced. I believe that this could be amended by renaming the hall after someone like Larry Itliong or Philip Vera-Cruz, the Filipino American founders of the famed farm laborers movement here in our own state of California, or like Fred Korematsu, a Japanese American who bravely resisted internment when his entire community was against him. These are the people we should choose to represent our campus; true heroes not just for California, but for our entire nation. They were bringers of change when those like Boalt were pushing us backwards. Cal should not stand for hate.
3/22/2019 18:21:35 My question is, you will consider changing Boalt Hall because he is a racist, but not LeConte or Barrows who were both slave owners?
3/22/2019 18:15:46 I think the law school name should be changed to something that better represents the values of UC Berkely. For instance, it could be named after a civil rights leader that got his law degree from Berkeley Law.
3/22/2019 18:10:43 A building bearing the name of such an openly racist figure only serves to tarnish the law school's reputation
3/22/2019 17:56:01 Ridiculous - keep the name as it is: Boalt Hall!
3/22/2019 17:53:16 Are we giving the Boalts the money back?  In today's money equivalent?  Or, is the money not also tainted?  I think similar comments were made by the founder of Stanford.  Did many Chinese laborers die building his railroads?  Should they change the name to Palo Alto University?  Does this mean the Boalt and Stanford families are forever villified by their forebears?  
3/22/2019 17:32:27 I support removing the Boalt name from the building