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Brown University Drops ‘Plantations' From Lengthy Formal Name

Brown University's official name has included the state's formal name, "the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations"

In this May 7, 2012 file photo, people walk past Sayles Hall on the campus of Brown University, in Providence, Rhode Island.
Steven Senne/AP (File)

Brown University is the latest Rhode Island institution to drop the word "plantations" from its official name.

The Ivy league school's governing board, the Brown University Corp., voted on Aug. 19 to shorten its seldom-used official name from Brown University in Providence in the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations to simply Brown University.

The shortened name became official Monday, the university said in a statement Tuesday. The name change was one of a number of racial justice initiatives announced by the school.

The longer name, which included the full state name, had been in place since 1804.

"The word 'plantation' did not carry connotations of slavery in 1636, when the colony of Providence Plantations was established by Roger Williams," the university said in a statement. "Over time, however, the word has come to conjure painful reminders of one of the ugliest times in our nation's history."

The change comes as state government phases out the word "plantations" from the state name. Gov. Gina Raimondo this summer said the state would stop using the word in many state documents. Voters on Nov. 3 will get the chance to excise the word from the state's official name.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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