The front entrance to Sanger Hall in Tabler Community. President McInnis announced in an email that the controversial building will be renamed to Chinn Hall. TIM GIORLANDO / THE STATESMAN

On Monday, Oct. 3, Stony Brook President Maurie McInnis sent an email informing students that Sanger Residence Hall is likely being renamed to Dr. May Edward Chinn Hall.

After two years of public pressure, McInnis announced in May that Stony Brook would rename the controversial Sanger Hall. The residence building has long been controversial due to Margaret Sanger’s – founder of Planned Parenthood – pro-eugenics views. 

Dr. May Edward Chinn, a trailblazing physician who in 1926 became the first Black woman to graduate from NYU’s Bellevue Hospital Medical College, will replace Sanger as the building’s namesake. Chinn also practiced medicine at Harlem Hospital for fifty years, being the first African American woman intern. She was also an advocate for poorer patients, often Black, who were denied treatment at other facilities.

“[Chinn] is a foundational part of New York State’s history,” McInnis said in her email.  

The Stony Brook University Council unanimously approved the name change. The change will be official once the SUNY Board of Trustees gives its approval.

Chinn Hall will be the campus’ fifth space named after a Black historical figure, out of 64. 


Kat Procacci (she/hers) is a senior Journalism major with minors in Film and Political Science. She is currently one of the managing editors for The Statesman and has been working for them for three years. Her focus is multimedia, and she was the multimedia editor her junior year.


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