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Rutgers University Foundation eliminates 'overseers' from Board name due to racial connotation

The official name change of the Rutgers University Foundation's Board will take place in the summer during its next full meeting.  – Photo by

The University announced yesterday that the Rutgers University Foundation will change the name of its Board to the Board of Directors, getting rid of the term “overseers” due to its historical association with racial inequities, according to a press release.

The Board, which was previously named the Board of Overseers since 1973, unanimously voted to change its name at its March 24 meeting, and the change will be finalized during its next full meeting in the summer, according to the release.

The University stated that this change comes at a time of self-examination among many institutions across the country regarding racial injustice as well as their histories, according to the release.

“I welcome the Rutgers University Foundation Board’s decision to choose a name that better represents them and the work they do so well for the University,” said University President Jonathan Holloway, according to the release.

This decision follows the University’s previous announcement in February that it would be installing four new historical markers to further acknowledge Rutgers’ connection to slavery as part of its ongoing Rutgers Scarlet and Black Project, The Daily Targum previously reported.

“There is (a) close correlation between diversity and excellence in higher education, and we are exceptionally proud of our diverse, highly accomplished alumni body,” Rutgers University Foundation President Nevin Kessler said, according to the release. “The foundation’s attention to important details like this name change is indicative of our approach to engaging our full community.”


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