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ECU sets public forums on Aycock Dorm re-naming

East Carolina University will give the community a chance to weigh in on the possibility of removing a former Governor’s name from a university residence hall. George Olsen has more.

The decision on whether to re-name the Charles B. Aycock Residence Hall will be taken up during the ECU Board of Trustee’s next scheduled meeting February 19th and 20th. Many consider Aycock the father of public education in the state. However, Aycock was also a leading spokesman in the late 1890s for Democratic Party white supremacist activities before becoming Governor in 1900. Duke University removed Aycock’s name from a dormitory last summer while the Democratic Party pulled his name from an annual fundraising dinner in 2011. ECU will conduct a student forum on the issue Monday (Jan. 26) at Wright Auditorium while a faculty, staff, alumni and community forum will be held Tuesday (Jan. 27) at the East Carolina Heart Institute Auditorium. Both meetings start at 4:00 pm. Board of Trustees chair Robert Brinkley will attend both forums. I’m George Olsen.

George Olsen is a 1977 Havelock High School graduate. He received his B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from the University of South Carolina in 1982 where he got his first taste of non-commercial radio working for their student station WUSC. After graduation he worked about five years in commercial radio before coming to work at Public Radio East where he has remained since outside of a nearly 3-year stint as jazz and operations coordinator at WUAL in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in the early 1990s. On his return to eastern North Carolina he hosted classical music for Public Radio East before moving into the Morning Edition host position and now can be heard on All Things Considered. He also hosts and produces The Sound, five hours of Americana, Roots Rock and Contemporary Folk weekday evenings on PRE Public Radio East News & Ideas, and is a news and feature producer for Public Radio East.