April 24, 2021
I am Anthony Joseph, a senior here at the College of William and Mary. This last 2020-21 year, I was elected Student Assembly President, and a large portion of my platform was renaming and recontextualization. Yesterday, after the Board of Visitors meeting, Eric from The Richmond Times stopped me to discuss the renaming process enacted by the Board today. I made the error of misinterpreting research collected by The Lemon Project. In the report, they found a John Randolph who had participated in the institution of slavery in the 18th century and who was a member of the Board of Visitors at the College. At the time of the interview, I referenced a football gate nearby and made a wrong connection.
The John Randolph on the football gate near the alumni house was a beloved member of our College community. He was the athletics director for the College for 10 years before he passed away after a hard, three-year battle with lung cancer. During his time as athletics director, he worked hard to make our athletic programs flourish and poured his life into the university as he fought for his life. Director Randolph was a beloved person of our community, filled with boundless energy and love for his alma mater.
In this work of naming and renaming, it is important that we know all of the facts and that we quickly correct false assumptions. I mistakenly confused the two John Randolphs and I write this to you today to bring peace to his memory and his loved ones. I am very sorry for the undue hurt and pain this may have caused his family and close friends.
The work of naming and renaming is incredibly important to me and I hope that we soon will have a full landscape review of the names on campus. People like Director Randolph deserve for us to celebrate their memory, and I hope we will be able to elevate members of our community like him.
My dearest apologies,
Anthony Joseph ’21 is majoring in government and global studies. He was the Student Assembly President for the 2020-21 school year. Email Anthony at firstname.lastname@example.org.