Tom Yawkey had no affiliation to BC. The only reason the building carries his last name is because the trustee of the Yawkey Foundation and former Red Sox President John Harrington had deep ties to the school. Before joining the Sox he taught accounting at BC. It was Harrington who pushed for the gift and Harrington who guided the naming. At the time, the Yawkey name carried much less controversy so it was a no brainer for BC to use it. If anything, there was the belief that associating with the Red Sox would help the program. There is no sense carrying the name if it is going to hurt the program in the slightest.
With respect to Harrington, there are a few workarounds that might help in the renaming. BC could call it the Jean Yawkey Center. Tom's widow was a very prominent philanthropist around Boston, and owned the Red Sox and contributed to Major League Baseball without controversy for decades after his death. Adding "Jean" distances it from Tom. I imagine several of the other local non-profits carrying Yawkey names or buildings will do the same.
BC could also rename it after Harrington. He was the guiding force for the gift. He was the BC guy. It wasn't his money, but why not give him some credit? I can't think of anything controversial about Harrington that would upset anyone.
BC could always rename it after another donor. Take the Yawkey name off now and shop around the naming opportunity to our biggest boosters. That might seem a little greedy and opportunistic, but we wouldn't be the first large non-profit to replace a name based on a bigger gift.
While I understand the sensitivity to the Yawkey Foundation, there are BC alums all over their board. I am sure they will understand BC's predicament. There are many courses of action. BC can be thoughtful in their plan and response. However, they can't drag their feet on Step 1. Drop the name now and figure the rest out later.
Let me restate, I don't care about this becoming a debate. I don't care how people feel about sensitivity or the president or social justice. There are many areas where I do care about BC's stand on things, but there is no reason to ever get into the fray or become a flashpoint over someone who was dead 30 years before some of his foundation's money headed over to BC.