The History of the NHCC Cross

June 9, 2020

As a private Christian college, we stand with our community in condemning racial and judicial
discrimination. We value our community deeply, and therefore we want to take this opportunity
to share the story of this cross in order to bring clarity and understanding.

  1. The history of the cross and how it came to reside on our campus has been well
    documented over the years, and there is no evidence to suggest our cross has direct
    roots to racism other than it once resided on Skinner Butte, the same location where
    racist events were held in the 1920s. People referring to our cross as the "KKK" cross
    is false.
  2. From 1934-1964, wooden crosses were displayed on Skinner Butte; these crosses were
    not associated with the racist activities of the 1920s but simply powerful symbols of
    hope set high above the City of Eugene.
  3. The cross was designed as a goodwill gesture out of concrete and steel to replace the
    wooden crosses that would deteriorate with Oregon weather on Skinner Butte. The
    51ft cement cross was erected in November 1964, over forty years after the racial
    demonstrations on Skinner Butte, (See The Register-Guard, November 29, 1964.)
  4. Voted on by Eugene residents in 1970 and approved by a wide margin, the cross was
    dedicated as a memorial to war veterans of the United States. (See The Register-Guard,
    December 14, 1986.)
  5. The cross was relocated to Eugene Bible College (now New Hope Christian College)
    in 1997 due to a 9th Circuit ruling that stated that the cross is a religious symbol and
    must be removed from public property; its then location was a violation of the
    Establishment Clause in the 1st Amendment. (See The Register-Guard, March 13,
    1997.) The cross found its home at New Hope Christian College, where it performs
    true to its originally commissioned purpose to be a symbol of hope for our community.

Here at New Hope Christian College, we view the cross as a powerful symbol of abundant hope
and unconditional love. It is our heart that this information, offered in truth and love, would
begin to bring clarity to any misinformation surrounding this beautiful cross. It is our hope that
what has recently led all of us to look closely at the history of the cross at New Hope, could
draw our community together and continue honest conversations that further promote unity
within our city.

If you would like more information, please contact us at

New Hope Christian College is a private campus available to staff, students, and on-campus
residents only.