Skip to main content

A Minneapolis middle school could be renamed after Prince

The campaign to find a new name has been whittled down to five finalists.
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Ramsey Middle School in Minneapolis could become The Institution Formerly Known As Ramsey Middle School.

A student-led campaign to rename the school saw dozens of suggestions, which have now been whittled down to just five finalists. Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the finalists is Minneapolis' favorite son, Prince Rogers Nelson.

The legendary musician attended Bryant Junior High School but that has since been closed down, so it would perhaps be fitting that a different school take his name.

The four other finalists include Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page, physician Martha Ripley, mathematician Dorothy Vaughan (of Hidden Figures fame) and "Bde Ota," the Dakota name for Minneapolis, according to the campaign website.

You can vote for your favorite here.

The campaign comes after awareness grew over the somewhat dubious past of its current namesake, Alexander Ramsey,

Ramsey Middle School teachers back the students' effort, which follows broad support expressed at a community meeting in December. However, the school doesn't have the power to change the name alone. That decision would lie with the Minneapolis Board of Education.

Ramsey's name has graced the school since 1931, 28 years after his death.

Twin Cities re-assesses its namesakes

The campaign comes after a wider re-assessment of the historic relevance of the namesakes used in and around the Twin Cities. In 2015 there was a campaign to rename Lake Calhoun after the spotlight fell on the former secretary of war and slavery apologist John C. Calhoun.

Alexander Ramsey was the second governor of the state of Minnesota but history has shown him to be a controversial figure, negotiating a 35 million-acre land purchase with the Dakota tribes, only for the U.S. government to stiff the Dakota when it came to payment.

The Star Tribune reports that in 2013, current Gov. Mark Dayton repudiated Ramsey's call for the extermination or removal of Dakota Indians from Minnesota, which followed a war over the stolen land that left 600 U.S. soldiers, settlers and Dakota dead.

According to the Southwest Journal, 38 Dakota men were hanged after the war and around 2,000 Dakota were forced from the state, including around 1,700 mostly women and children who were forced to march to Fort Snelling and spend the winter there.

Between 102 and 300 died in that camp, mostly from disease, the newspaper notes.

Next Up

Trevor Scott May

Driver ejected in fatal Roseville crash identified as 30-year-old

The crash temporarily shutdown westbound Highway 36.

ambulance

1 dead, 2 injured in crash at intersection in Ramsey

The crash happened at the intersection of Bunker Lake Blvd. and Sunfish Lake Blvd.

Tettegouche State Park bridge

Trails reopen as waters subside, but bridges damaged at Tettegouche State Park

Water levels on the river have dropped about six to eight feet since Friday.

Keith Harvell

Body pulled from Mississippi River ID'd as missing Elk River man

Keith Harvell had been missing since early last month.

900 W Broadway Ave, Minneapolis, Minnesota - July 2021

2 victims identified in double-fatal north Minneapolis shooting

A 21-year-old man and a 51-year-old man were identified as the people who died at the scene this past weekend.

Proctor football

Former Proctor HS football player pleads guilty to sexual assault of teammate

The case will also remain in juvenile court, with conditions.

Doug Wardlow

Doug Wardlow reneges on promise, will challenge GOP's AG candidate in primary

Wardlow's announcement sparked swift criticism from the MN GOP and the party-endorsed candidate, Jim Schultz.

Flickr - welcome to minnesota sign - Tony Webster

US News '150 Best Places to Live' features 1 from MN, 3 from WI

The latest US News list is for the most populous metro areas only, so no small towns.

tornado

7 tornadoes touched down last week in western MN, ND

Two of the seven were EF-2 level tornadoes, according to the National Weather Service.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, May 17

72 hours of case data reported over the weekend is included in Tuesday updates.

Related

A Minneapolis middle school could be renamed after Prince

The campaign to find a new name has been whittled down to five finalists.

A middle school is renamed after a Minnesota icon (but it's not Prince)

Students at Ramsey started an effort to rename their middle school – and this week they achieved their goal.

A middle school is renamed after a Minnesota icon (but it's not Prince)

Students at Ramsey started an effort to rename their middle school – and this week they achieved their goal.

Photo by Allen Beaulieu_One Time Use only

Rare pictures of Prince to feature at Minnesota History Center

It will include the work of Prince's personal photographer.

Universal wins publishing rights to Prince's song catalog

Hard luck, Jay Z. The Prince estate has agreed to sell the rights to the Purple One's extensive song catalog to Universal Music Publishing.

Universal wins publishing rights to Prince's song catalog

Hard luck, Jay Z. The Prince estate has agreed to sell the rights to the Purple One's extensive song catalog to Universal Music Publishing.