Office of the President

Dr. Patrick T. Harker is the 26th president of the University of Delaware. He also serves as professor of business administration in the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics and professor of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering.

Dedication of Louis L. Redding Hall
Redding Hall
October 4, 2013

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Good afternoon. I’m Patrick Harker, president of the University of Delaware. University Board of Trustees Chairman Gil Sparks and I are delighted to welcome you to campus for the official opening of our newest residence halls, named for two men who have had an enormous impact on this institution.

Eliphalet Gilbert Hall honors the University’s first president—the man who led UD from its earliest days, and who would be so proud to see the magnificent institution we’ve become.

Our second residence hall is named for a man who has had an equally profound impact on this University. This afternoon, we dedicate Louis L. Redding Hall.

This is an incredibly special day for us—a day of remembrance and celebration and, frankly, a day that’s long overdue. We’ve gathered to honor Louis Lorenzo Redding, one of a core group of lawyers who exposed the fundamental fallacy and grave offense of the “separate but equal” doctrine; who effectively dismantled the structure of Jim Crow segregation; and who established himself as a true legend of civil rights law in America.

From a few special guests this afternoon, we’ll hear what Louis Redding means to this community, to this University and to the generations coming after him—to all those who pursue justice and demand equality, who work tirelessly to protect the civil rights and human dignity of all.

Of course, this University owes Louis Redding a personal debt of gratitude.

Louis Redding changed UD for good. We are the institution we are today because of him. We rededicate ourselves to diversity, equity and inclusion because of him. We understand how hard we still must work, and how far we still must go, because of him.

And my greatest hope is that the students who have the enormous privilege of living in this building, or visiting it, might learn more about Louis Redding and the grievous wrongs he helped right, and become especially committed to sustaining his powerful legacy.

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