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Amherst College-Owned Hotel To Remove Name Of Controversial General

Aug 30, 2018
Originally published on August 29, 2018 8:27 am

Amherst College announced it's changing the name of the Lord Jeffrey Inn, a landmark hotel on campus.

The name change comes two-and-a-half years after the college decided to remove references to its controversial unofficial mascot.

Lord Jeffrey Amherst was a British general who advocated for biological warfare against Native Americans. For nearly a year, a group of Amherst College officials, town residents and the management company that runs the Lord Jeffrey Inn discussed alternative names.

Kevin Weinman, the school's chief financial officer, said that was harder than you might think.

“Names, for example, that would have included the word, ‘Amherst,’ we found was actually quite difficult, given that there are a number of other Amhersts in the U.S.,” Weinman said. “There’s about eight or 10 Amhersts across the country, and many of those names are already taken.”

They finally came up with The Inn on Boltwood, a reference to the avenue where the hotel is located.

Mercedes MacAlpine, a 2016 graduate, protested the school-sanctioned use of Lord Jeffery Amherst as a mascot when she was a student. She said the removal is a step toward Amherst College living up to its ideals.

“We were kinda asking the question that the country’s asking itself now. How do we genuinely live in a way that we claim that we want to be?” MacAlpine said. “How do we genuinely become this great, and ideal version?”

The official name change is set for early 2019.

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