He was born a slave in Massachusetts in 1750 and would later be freed to fight in the Revolutionary War. During the war, he would become a hero in the Battle of Bunker Hill.
Now Peter Salem is the first African American person to have a residence hall at Robert Morris University named in his honor.
With its new Peter Salem Hall a third of the way to completion, the university held a small dedication ceremony next to the building site Tuesday. Resident advisors Justin Middleton and Jeremy Bittner presented a slide show and a brief overview about the new hall.
According to Bittner, Peter Salem Hall will 192 beds, including four- and five-person apartments. The first floor will hold a common area, and the building will also feature two conference rooms.
“The hall will be completed in the summer and ready for students to move into in the fall,” Bittner said.
Middleton said RMU students chose from several names and voted during a two-week period.
“Peter Salem’s legacy is also in keeping with RMU’s colonial theme,” he said. “His courage during the Battle of Bunker Hill was a big part of why students chose him.”
Within its campus, RMU is in the midst of a large-scale capital expansion plan. The university is building new facilities on its campus, including a $10 million school of business, for the first time since the 1990s. This fall, RMU enrolled one of its to date, according to university spokesperson Jonathan Potts.