Balancing heritage with changing times, YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly has changed the name of its iconic Robert E. Lee Hall to a name derived from the word its founder uttered when he first saw this forested acreage near Black Mountain over a century ago.
In October, YMCA Blue Ridge’s board voted to change the name of Lee Hall to Eureka Hall. The decision weighed the “almost hallowed ground” that Lee Hall occupies in the assembly’s history against “the realization that the world is changing,” said Kurt Eckel, Blue Ridge’s president and CEO.
“Heritage is very, very important, and preserving that heritage is important,” Eckel said. But changing the name of the hall “is about who we are as an organization. And if a name on a building makes some we serve feel less than welcome, then taking the name down is the right thing to do. That was the board’s decision.”
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