UC Hastings Officially Renamed UC College of the Law, San Francisco

The name change was approved following a process that found the school's founder, Serranus Hastings, organized the killing of Native Americans.
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  • The law school's board of directors voted unanimously to remove "Hastings" from its name late last July.
  • Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a bill changing the school's name to the University of California College of the Law, San Francisco.
  • The bill also advances restorative justice efforts for Native American tribes impacted by the atrocities in which school founder Serranus Hastings was involved.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed off on a name change for the oldest law school in the University of California (UC) system.

On Friday, Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1936, which renames UC's Hastings College of the Law as the College of the Law, San Francisco.

The bill also advanced restorative justice efforts for Round Valley Indian Tribes and Yuki people whose ancestors endured genocide and other atrocities funded and supported by the college's founder and namesake Serranus Hastings.

Newsom signed the bill as part of a package of legislation supporting the state's Indigenous people on California's Native American Day.

"As we lift up the rich history and contributions of California's diverse tribal communities today, the state recommits to building on the strides we have made to redress historical wrongs and help empower Native communities," Newsom said in a statement.

The full name change goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2023, Chancellor David L. Faigman said Friday in a letter to the college community.

"This bill allows us to legally change the name of the college and reaffirm our commitment to restorative justice initiatives with the California tribes most impacted by the acts of our founder and first dean, Serranus Hastings," Faigman said.

The law school’s board of directors voted unanimously to remove "Hastings" from its name last July. The recommendation required approval by both houses of the California State Legislature and the governor.

The bill permitting the name change passed the California Senate and Assembly without a single "no" vote, according to Faigman.

The college's rebranding effort dates back to 2017 when Faigman appointed a committee to examine the history of its namesake.

Serranus Hastings was a California Supreme Court justice who founded the school in 1878. In the 1850s, he was involved in the mass killings of Yuki people in the Round Valley and Eden Valley region of California, Faigman previously explained.

As the Hastings Legacy Review Committee examined Hastings' involvement in the genocide, the college built a relationship with Round Valley Indian Tribes, who consulted on the decision to change the school's name.

The law school also received letters from stakeholders regarding the potential change, 78% of which supported removing Hastings' name from the school, according to the announcement.