Central Hall to be renamed for former president

Zach Mills

John D. Minton served just over six months as Western?s president in 1979.

Now thousands of pedestrians will see his name everyday as the university prepares to rename one of its most highly-visible dorms ? Central Hall near the Downing University Center.

John D. Minton Hall was made official by President Gary Ransdell at the May 31 Board of Regents meeting. A dedication ceremony for the renaming is scheduled for Oct. 25.

Ransdell said the decision to rename the dorm made sense because of the example of leadership Minton, a long-time teacher at Western, exemplified.

He said Minton was ?one of those rare individuals? that has accumulated a high reputation among faculty as well as the student body.

Minton said he was ?sentimental and emotional? about the honor.

?I am grateful for it,? Minton said. ?I came to Western at a good time, and I have appreciated the opportunities that have been given to me. I served with good people.?

Tom Hiles, vice president for Institutional Advancement, said the decision to use Minton?s name to adorn Central was not related to financial donations. Hiles? staff has pursued naming rights donations for other campus buildings.

Minton served as president at Western from Jan. 8, 1979, to July 31, 1979. He also held several positions of leadership at the university.

He began teaching in the history department in 1958 and during the 1960s, he served as Associate Dean of Graduation Instruction and Dean of Graduate College.

On Aug. 16, 1970, Minton was appointed vice president of administration and vice president of student affairs on July 1, 1981.

Minton retired from Western in August 1986 and later returned to Western?s history department where he taught part-time until 1996.

Minton finished his undergraduate work at the University of Kentucky, and attended Vanderbilt where he received his doctorate.

“Over those years the people that I worked with made my job easier and better and probably made me look better,” Minton said of his time at Western.

Reach Zach Mills at [email protected]