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UC Cuts Ribbon on Hall Honoring Cincinnati Civil Rights Leader

The newest dormitory on the far right will be named Spencer Hall.
The newest dormitory on the far right will be named Spencer Hall.

The University of Cincinnati is formally dedicating its newest residence hall Monday afternoon. Marian Spencer Hall honors one of Cincinnati's most well-known civil rights activists.

UC Vice President of Equity, Inclusion and Community Impact Bluezette Marshall calls Spencer a trailblazer for Cincinnati and the university.

"I've often referred to her as the university's first chief diversity officer because she worked to provide a lot of integrated programs for the university when she was here back in the 1940s," Marshall says. 

As a UC student, Spencer was not allowed to live on campus. "Having a residence hall in her name and in her honor," says Marshall, "is symbolic not only to the work that she's done, but it will provide a place and home forever for her on campus and also for the thousands of students who will come across our halls."

The dorm bearing her name opens this fall and will house 330 students. The invitation-only ribbon cutting is at 2 p.m. Building tours will follow. UC's board of trustees approved a recommendation to name the dorm in Spencer's honor in December.

Spencer, a 1942 graduate of UC, is well known for her work with the Cincinnati NAACP, where she was the first female president, and as the first African-American woman on Cincinnati Council. She led the fight to desegregate public schools and integrate Coney Island.

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