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U.Md. to name the new academic building after Thurgood Marshall

A new academic building on the University of Maryland campus will be named in honor of the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

A new academic building on the University of Maryland campus will be named in honor of the late US Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

The college’s School of Public Policy will be named “Thurgood Marshall Hall” after a naming ceremony later this month. The name pays tribute to the attorney and civil rights advocate who successfully argued that segregation was unconstitutional in the landmark case Brown v. Topeka Board of Education.

“This recognition serves as a testament to his legacy as an unrepentant pioneer for justice and equality,” the Marshall family said in a statement shared by the university. “The inspiring work the school does every day to create the next generation of students embodies what was at its core: ensuring a more just and equitable world for all.”

According to the press release, the hall will support the school’s mission of promoting the public good by bringing together students, faculty and other experts to promote discourse and action.

Marshall was born in Baltimore in 1908 and graduated at the top of his class from Howard University Law School after being denied admission to UMD law school in 1930 because he was black.

He went on to join the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and was part of the legal team that triumphed over UMD’s pretrial admissions trial in court.

This included cases where Marshall helped represent Parren Mitchell and Hiram Whittle, who were also rejected by the university for being black. Mitchell would become the first black UMD student to take graduate classes in 1950. Whittle enrolled as the college’s first black undergraduate a year later.

Marshall became the nation’s first black Supreme Court justice in 1967, where he served 24 years until his retirement.

“There is no better name to give this building than that of Thurgood Marshall,” Robert C. Orr, dean of the School of Public Policy, said in the news release. “Judge Marshall’s legacy in desegregating, strengthening voting rights and promoting equal protection for every American is an inspiration to all of us.”

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