Penn moves forward with 'Wynn Commons' rename

The University of Pennsylvania is moving forward with relabeling a central part of its campus named for a former trustee who is in the midst of a sexual-misconduct scandal.

The school’s “current plan” is to rename “Wynn Commons,” named after hotel and casino mogul Steve Wynn, to “Penn Commons,” university spokesman Ron Ozio confirmed Friday. The Daily Pennsylvanian first reported the decision.

The university removed Wynn’s name from the plaza outside of Houston Hall, Penn’s student union building, in early February after a Wall Street Journal report described a decades-long pattern of sexual misconduct from Wynn.

Ozio did not comment on whether “Penn Commons” would be a temporary or permanent name for the public area, and said he did not know the timeline for when new signage would be installed.

Wynn stepped down as head of Wynn Resorts and resigned as finance chairman for the Republican National Committee following the Journal’s report.

Penn’s commons was named for Wynn after he donated $7.5 million to the Ivy League school in 1995.

“It has been a century since the University of Pennsylvania last revoked an honorary degree, and we do not take that decision — or the decision to remove Mr. Wynn’s name from the Commons and from the scholarship fund he created — lightly,” Penn president Amy Gutmann and David L. Cohen, chairman of the board of trustees, said in a statement at the time. “We view these as extraordinary and essentially unique circumstances that call for an immediate, decisive, and clearly ethical response.”

In addition to removing his name from the plaza, Penn revoked an honorary degree given to Wynn and stripped his name from a scholarship fund. The university also revoked an honorary degree given to actor and comedian Bill Cosby, who has been accused of sexual assault by dozens of women. A criminal trial for Cosby in Montgomery County ended in a hung jury and mistrial last year.

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