CINCINNATI (Enquirer) - Saint Ursula Academy said Tuesday they were taking a serious look at renaming buildings that carry the name of a controversial benefactor who had a history of racial insensitivity and anti-semitism, according to the Enquirer.
Marge Schott, former owner of the Cincinnati Reds, contributed several million dollars to Saint Ursula to have a science wing built in her name, said Jill Cahill, director of communications for Saint Ursula.
Schott's personal foundation also helped pay for Schottzie Stadium, which was named after her dog.
Schott, a Cincinnati native, became the owner of the Reds in 1984 and was banned from managing the team from 1996 through 1998 after making statements endorsing former Nazi party leader Adolf Hitler. During her tenure as owner, Schott made slurs toward African-Americans, Jews and persons of Japanese descent.
Schott agreed to sell her controlling interest in the Reds in 1999. Schott died in 2004.
Cahill told the Enquirer on Tuesday the Catholic school in East Walnut Hills was already having discussions with alumni groups prior to the recent controversy about whether Schott’s name on the facilities is appropriate,but recent discussions about racism have caused the school to “accelerate conversations” surrounding the facility names.
“The important thing is we do right by our students of color and our school community,” Cahill said. “We’re going to bring those conversations to a conclusion sooner than later."
This comes as a petition created Sunday by former UC baseball player Jordan Ramey asked the university to change the baseball stadium from Marge Schott Stadium to a new name, citing Schott’s history of racially insensitive conduct and anti-semitism.
The University of Cincinnati Athletic Department said Monday they were providing the university administration with "context" for why student-athletes are petitioning the school to change the baseball stadium name.
The petition is at 7,300 signatures toward its goal of 7,500, and has been endorsed by several former UC baseball players, including UC hall-of-famer Kevin Youkilis, who is Jewish.
The petition describes the stadium name as “irresponsible,” and contradictory to the university’s mission statement of inclusion.
The Department of Athletics Director John Cunningham said they are providing the university administration with “any information or context they may need to better understand this issue” from the perspective of UC student-athletes.
UC did not clarify what the context and information were by press time.
“We appreciate the willingness of our current and former student-athletes to have tough conversations and express their feelings about the name of our baseball stadium,” Cunningham said.
Schott's name also is found on a number of buildings throughout Cincinnati, notably: Marge Schott-Unnewehr Elephant Reserve at The Cincinnati Zoo, and a boy scout camp in Evandale.
The Dan Beard Council of the Boy Scouts and The Cincinnati Zoo did not respond to request for comment.