Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Bench By Any Other Name

After I got to college, I decided that I did not want anyone to name a building after me. This was rather presumptuous of me since I have yet to be in any real danger of having anyone name a building after me. But it is fun to make this kinds of arbitrary decisions anyway.

At Spelman, the dining hall was named for Alma Upshaw, who I'm sure was a fine, upstanding citizen. Yet, not a day would go by when someone without someone declaring, "I hate Alma." We did not know her, but more often than not the food served in the cafeteria bearing her name deserved our derision.

At at my brother's college, Lincoln University, people made reference to a dorm called "Freddy D.," named after Frederick Douglass. He probably wouldn't have minded, but still...if you can avoid having a building named after you, you can avoid having your name tossed about.

Instead, you might try getting some benches placed in your honor, as the Toni Morrison Society has done for their namesake author. Since the benches themselves aren't really named for you, it won't be like people are sitting on you. Rather, they will appreciate and honor the fact that your life's work inspired a place of respite.

1 comment:

~RnR, RegalandRegular said...

My building name dreams were crushed when I spent four years in our science building named Jones Hall. Maybe it was named after my cousin.