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UC Naming New Dorm After Civil Rights Leader Marian Spencer

Updated 12:30 p.m.

The University of Cincinnati's Board of Trustees is approving a recommendation to name UC's new dorm in honor of Marian Spencer, a local civil rights leader.Marian Spencer Hall, or Spencer Hall, opens in fall 2018 on the west side of campus where Sawyer Hall once stood.

"When Marian Spencer was a student at the University of Cincinnati," says UC Foundation President and University Naming Committee Co-Chair Peter Landgren, "she was not allowed to live in a dorm. The fact that we could name our newest dorm and most modern dorm for Marian Spencer, you can't imagine a more perfect connection and symbiosis."

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, and won.

Landgren says the name is fitting for a school working to be a more diverse community.

"There is just so much going on with multiplicity of this community, and that's Marian's life. That's exactly the way she lived her life, and, frankly, she challenged our Cincinnati community to live that way."

In the hall naming recommendation, the University Naming Committee writes, "Spencer has spent her entire life as a community servant and civil rights activist, working hard to desegregate public schools... The University of Cincinnati is proud to honor Marian Spencer."

Spencer Hall will house "roughly 330 additional residents in suite-style units and is offered at our second-lowest price point," UC says.


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At 95 years old, civil rights icon Marian Spencer jokes that she'll "turn over in her grave if God doesn't give me 100."
Tana Weingartner / WVXU
Marian Spencer at a street re-naming ceremony at Cincinnati City Hall in 2016.

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Most recently, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She served on the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters Board of Directors from 2007 - 2009.