(Source: Roger Williams University)
On the heels of his racial slur, Roger Williams trustee Ralph Papitto will see his name removed from the university's law school. He won't, however, get his money back (we can assume).
The Ralph R. Papitto School of Law at Roger Williams University will soon lose the Papitto name, now associated with a slur.
On Wednesday, Papitto asked the university's board, which until recently he led, to remove his name, and the board quickly said that it would do so. The Roger Williams campus and much of Rhode Island have been debating the appropriateness of honoring Papitto in any way, let alone with a law school's name, since the revelation that he had used the word "nigger" at a university board meeting in May. While Papitto apologized and eventually left the board, many at the university were outraged that his name remained on the law school and that the three board members who had urged him to resign after he used the slur were themselves forced off the board. Reports have also circulated that Papitto has made other rude remarks not only about black people, but about members of other ethnic groups.
By Wednesday, student and faculty groups were organizing petition drives or resolutions to demand a change in the law school's name, and Rhode Island talk radio stations were devoting hours to discussion of the controversy.
On Wednesday afternoon, Papitto issued a statement that repeated his apology, repeated his denial that he had made other slurs, and announced that he had asked to have his name removed from the law school. In the statement, he said that he has been engaged in "soul searching and reflection," much of it focused on how to "mitigate the damage" that the controversy has caused to the university.
"I do not want this controversy, which at present is running out of control, to further the damage already caused to the university," he wrote. "A continued public discussion and debate over the name of the law school serves only to further damage the university. Therefore, and as a reflection of the sincerity of my regret and of my deep commitment to Roger Williams University, I have today asked the Board of Trustees to remove my name from the law school."
Amazing. One word negates a lifetime of service and philanthropy. Good thing Chris Rock doesn't have his name on a law school.
Did you enjoy this article?