Prominent Building to be Renamed in Honor of Native American alum

Joseph Medicine Crow attends USC’s honorary degree ceremony in 2003. (Photo/Barry Levine)

The Center for International and Public Affairs will be renamed the Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow Center for International and Public Affairs at a formal ceremony in Spring 2022, President Carol L. Folt announced recently.

The USC Board of Trustees approved a renaming of the building in June 2020 following attention brought to the building in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement. The building had been named for Rufus Von KleinSmid, the University’s fifth president who held controversial views on eugenics, which promotes creating a race of people alike in physical features.

A Naming Committee was charged with identifying an alum who reflected USC’s values, significantly influenced the university and its mission, and established a lasting legacy of leadership. With more than 200 recommendations received, Folt announced the selection of Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow for the honor.
In the announcement, Folt noted that Dr. Medicine Crow earned his master’s degree in anthropology from USC in 1939 and was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2003. He was a much beloved historian and storyteller for the Apsáalooke (Crow) Nation. Throughout his life, he shared Native American history and culture with millions around the world, and his efforts to champion the stories of Native Americans have increased understanding of indigenous communities everywhere. A World War II veteran and war chief of the Crow Nation, he received the Bronze Star and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The formal dedication of the center will occur in Spring 2022.