Over a century ago Ethel Tremaine Robinson and Inman Edward Page broke racial barriers at Brown University by becoming some of the first Black students to graduate from the institution. Now, the two will be honored by the Ivy League school with a building named after them, the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education reported.
The university will rename the J. Walter Wilson Building—which sits in a central part of campus—to pay homage to Robinson and Page, the news outlet writes. The building, which opened 56 years ago, initially housed life science laboratories. A few years ago, after being renovated, it transformed into a space where students can get a range of different services; spanning from financial aid help to mail services.
Both Robinson and Page made their marks in the realm of education respectively. Robinson led literature and English courses at Howard University and guided one of her students to help her launch Alpha Kappa Alpha which is the country’s first Black sorority. Page went on to serve as president at historically Black colleges and universities, including the Lincoln Institute, the Agricultural and Normal University, Roger Williams University, and Western Baptist College.
“Inman Page was born into slavery, sought liberty and opportunity and found them at Brown — and he saw the power of education to cultivate the innate ‘genius’ in everyone,” Brown University President Christina Paxson said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “Ethel Robinson broke a color barrier and a glass ceiling when she graduated from Brown in 1905. Together, these two pioneers embodied the faith in learning, knowledge and understanding that has animated Brown for generations.” The building is slated to be officially renamed in 2019.
The news surrounding the renaming of the building comes just weeks after it was announced that students and faculty at the University of Mississippi are leading an effort to rename their journalism school after Civil Rights advocate, journalist, and educator Ida B. Wells-Barnett.