College strips name ‘Linnaeus’ from its 125-acre arboretum, citing ‘scientific racism’

Gustavus Adolphus College argues move builds ‘an inclusive and just community’

Gustavus Adolphus College has removed the name of prominent scientist Carl Linnaeus from the title of its arboretum, citing “scientific racism” as the motivation behind the move.

The college also moved his bust, which had been displayed outside the arboretum’s Melva Lind Interpretive Center since 1988, into storage.

The Board of Trustees at the private college in Minnesota made the final decision to ax the name after pressure from activists, the college announced Oct. 12.

“Gustavus has historically sought to build an inclusive and just community. In recent years, and especially since George Floyd’s murder, we have strengthened our efforts to pay attention to underrepresented voices and discovered how painful Linnaeus’ name and legacy are for some of our students and visitors,” board Chair Scott Anderson said in the announcement.


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