Naming Opportunities


The naming of a university property, program, or facility is an honor that contributes to the university’s sense of its heritage and is a significant event in the history of the institution. The University President has authority and responsibility for approving the name of buildings and facilities or parts thereof on behalf of the university, and recommending approval by the Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) State College Board of Trustees in accordance with applicable laws and rules.

The naming of buildings, programs, and other facilities at Delta State University, such as laboratories, classrooms, auditoriums, offices and common areas, is one manner in which the university can honor an individual’s contributions to the institution. Any recommendation for the naming of buildings, parts of buildings or outdoor areas of the campus shall be based on what is in the best interest of the university. Each naming proposal should take into account established criteria and other guidelines.


: specific to this document refers to honoring or memorializing individuals, corporations, foundations, and/or organizations.

Facilities: includes, but not limited to, any University buildings, structures, rooms, interior spaces, exterior spaces (gardens, courts, plazas, memorials, markers, etc.) streets, athletic fields, open spaces, landscaped areas, or other physical improvements or natural features of the University campus, and all other tangible and relatively permanent features owned, operated or controlled by Delta State University.

Programs: includes campus-administered academic or non-academic programs, colleges, schools, departments, institutes, centers, and other units associated with University functions. For the purpose of this policy, the term does not apply to endowed faculty positions (e.g. chairs, professorships, etc.) or named funds to support students (e.g. scholarships, fellowships, awards, etc.)



Individuals or groups for whom facilities are named must have made significant contributions to the university. To preserve the integrity of the “naming” process, this honor is reserved for individuals of recognized accomplishments and character.  Contributions may be significant financial gifts or distinguished service to or recognition brought to the university.

  1. Naming for a Benefactor (financial or in-kind gift required)

The university may recognize a substantial gift benefiting the institution by naming a facility in appreciation of the gift. Each situation should be judged on its own.

      1.  A facility may be named for an individual or organization benefactor who makes a significant contribution toward the costs of initial construction or renovation of a building, component of a building, or other physical facility on campus.  The university will establish and regularly revise a list of available naming opportunities and minimum gift expectations for naming.
      2. A naming gift may also be a significant contribution of funds initiating or supporting programs, scholarships, specialized equipment, operations, or other needs of the university. Endowment funding of significance that offers sustained support into perpetuity will be preferred in consideration of naming opportunities.
  1. Naming for Service to or Recognition Brought to the University

A naming honor for a building or a major facility may be conferred to recognize individuals who have attained achievements of extraordinary and lasting distinction. Generally, these are individuals who have had direct, substantial, and active association with the university and displayed a distinguished record of scholarship, creativity, leadership, humanitarian service or public service.

A facility, property or program may be named after a member of the university community (faculty or staff) who has been retired from full-time service with the university at least three (3) years or who has been deceased at least three (3) years.

Procedures and Responsibilities

Requests to name a building, facility, program, or other space on campus in recognition of a financial gift, recognition of service, or achievement must be approved by the President of the University in conjunction with the President’s Executive Committee and majority vote of the President’s Cabinet.

Any individual or group associated with the university may submit a proposal to the President’s Cabinet for naming a facility for the reasons indicated above. The President’s Cabinet’s principal task is to review proposals and make naming recommendations to the president.

  1. Each proposal shall include:
      1. a description of the facility and the name proposed to be honored;
      2. biographical summary of the person proposed; and
      3. a statement of rationale articulating the distinctiveness of the individual’s contributions to the University.
  2. The President’s Cabinet shall give timely consideration to all proposals, weighing them on their individual merits and consulting with the President when appropriate and necessary.

Considering the sensitivity of the matters under consideration and their potential for creating misunderstanding, all stages of the proposal, review and recommendation process must be conducted in confidence.

While being timely in its consideration and approach, the President’s Cabinet will follow a deliberative approach. Those proposing a “naming” are cautioned that the process may take considerable time and involve an extensive review process. The President’s Cabinet generally will not consider proposals in the immediate aftermath of one-time events, as the passage of time ensures greater objectivity.

In recommending the naming of a facility or programmatic unit for a person, family or organization, the President’s Cabinet shall have a reasonable assurance that:

      1. the proposed name will bring additional honor and distinction to the university;
      2. the recognition implied by the naming is appropriate for the significance of the contributions by the individual, family, or organization; and
      3. any philanthropic commitments connected with the naming can be realized.

Removal of a Name

The University reserves the right to remove a name from any facility or program that would not reflect positively on the University or would conflict with the purpose or mission of the University. The President’s Cabinet may convene to discuss the circumstances surrounding the issue and make a recommendation to the president or the president may act unilaterally as to whether the name should be retained or removed.

In certain circumstances, the University reserves the right, to revoke and terminate its obligations regarding a naming, with no financial responsibility for returning any received contributions to the benefactor.  These actions, and the circumstances that prompt them, may apply to an approved naming that has not yet been acted upon or to a conferred naming.

Circumstances that may lead to the removal of a name may include but are not limited to the examples shown below:

      1. the commission of and conviction for a crime by an individual whose name appears on a naming opportunity
      2. the failure of a donor to fulfill gift commitments as specified in a stated agreement (e.g., estate gifts, failure to honor pledge, etc.)
      3. the benefactor’s or honoree’s reputation changes substantially so that the continued use of that name may compromise the public trust, dishonor the University’s standards, or otherwise be contrary to the best interests of the University, the naming may be revoked.

Named Demolished Buildings

In case of demolition or removal of building or entity, provisions for continued recognition of named individual(s) will be reviewed and approved by the President’s Cabinet for consistency and appropriateness. When a building is demolished or replaced and the former name is no longer warranted, the President’s Cabinet, along with the DSU Foundation, will consider new naming opportunities. If possible, the University will contact a family member and/or the appropriate contact person for the former name sake to inform them of the demolition or replacement of the current building. In cases where the naming of the building was in recognition of philanthropic support to the University, the Foundation will contact a family member and/or the appropriate contact person for the former namesake to inform them of the demolition or replacement of the current building. In both situations, it may be appropriate to place a plaque in proximity to the original building to indicate that it occupies the site of a building formerly known by another name.

The University President shall have the sole authority to make exceptions to these policies and procedures in order to serve the University’s interests.

Responsible Office and/or Policy Owner:  Vice President for University Advancement and External Relations






Cabinet Approval: 02/25/2014
Revised, Cabinet Approved: 01/20/2015
Revised, Cabinet Approval:  02/18/2019
Revised, Cabinet Approval:  10/26/2021
Reviewed by Office of Human Resources:  02/20/2019