After Talks With Black Student Leaders, LSU Will Rename Library
In the midst of several days of talks between LSU leaders and black student leaders about how to bring more racial justice to the Baton Rouge campus, an announcement was made on Wednesday about changing the name of the student library. Pending approval by the Board of Supervisors, the name of the library will cease to be Middleton Library, and a bust of it's namesake, Troy Middleman, will be taken down.
LSU interim President Tom Galligan told The Advocate that "Our goal is to erase symbols of things that exemplify a racist past. Any student, or particularly a student of color, that has to go into any building which bears the name of someone not identified with progress and with racist traditions is to inhibit their education. They won't feel safe in that building."
The library, which was built in 1959, was named for the former LSU president in 1979. Middleton was president from 1951-1962, and part of his troubling legacy at the University includes a letter on desegregation he sent to University of Texas Chancellor Harry Ransom in 1961. It implied that black students at LSU be kept "in a given area".
According to Devin Woodson of the LSU Black Male Leadership Initiative, other buildings on campus that are being reviewed for a name change include David Boyd Hall and Kirby Hall.
The next regularly scheduled meeting for the Board of Supervisors is on June 19th. No word yet on what the new name of the library will be. Read more about it from the Advocate.