The University of Maryland’s public policy building was named after former Supreme Court Justice and Maryland resident Thurgood Marshall during a ceremony Tuesday, four months after the building’s dedication.

Speakers at the ceremony emphasized Marshall’s lasting impact, who was a civil rights lawyer known for arguing the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case in front of the Supreme Court, which ruled that segregated public schools were unconstitutional.

University President Darryll Pines said naming the building after Thurgood Marshall was the latest move in celebrating diversity at this university. He referenced the dedications of The Agora earlier this month, the first building on the campus solely meant for use by multicultural Greek organizations, and the dedication of Yahentamitsi Dining Hall, which honors the Piscataway people, whose land this university lies on.

[UMD community gathers to dedicate Agora house for multicultural Greek organizations]

It was only fitting to have the next campus building be named after “our greatest Marylander,” Pines said.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore spoke at the ceremony, praising Marshall’s legacy of advancing justice and affirming it must be honored in the work the community does.

In November 2022, when he was governor-elect, Moore launched his transition effort during an event at this university’s public policy building.

Now as governor, he walks past a statue of Marshall in the Maryland State House Square every morning with a sense of “pride and obligation,” he said.

“The reason that I can see higher is because the shoulders that I’m standing on are firm,” Moore said.

University System of Maryland Chancellor Jay Perman said at the ceremony it was important to acknowledge this university’s segregationist past, which Marshall had a hand in eliminating.

Marshall sued this university on behalf of Parren Mitchell and Hiram Whittle, who would become the first Black people to take graduate classes on this campus and enroll as an undergraduate student at this university, respectively.

A dorm bearing Whittle’s name was dedicated here in October 2022.

[More than 400 menstrual product dispensers installed on campus as part of UMD SGA initiative]

Marshall’s son, Thurgood Marshall Jr. — who serves on the public policy school’s advisory board — attended the ceremony and applauded the efforts the university is making to honor his father.

Provost Jennifer King Rice said the diversity of this university’s current student body serves as an example of Marshall’s impact.

Robert Orr, the public policy school’s dean, announced new initiatives that the school is starting to honor Marshall’s legacy, such as having a policy leader deliver a “Marshall address” and naming a cohort of students as awardees of a Marshall fellowship annually.

“Clearly, we have much to do. Thurgood Marshall was a leader and a policy maker who changed the world for the better and for all,” Orr said. “It was his policy. And so let it be ours.”

CLARIFICATION: This article has been updated to clarify Parren Mitchell was the first Black person to take graduate classes on this campus.