A few months ago, Alabama State University president Quinton Ross promised to remove the names of those with ties to white supremacy or who supported racist causes from campus buildings.
A former KKK leader was the first to go.
Workers removed the name of Bibb Graves, a former Alabama governor, from a campus residence hall that also houses the historically Black college’s famed bell tower.
“This is something that we have planned to do for several months,” said Ross. “I established a committee to research the names that are on our buildings to determine those who were closely associated with racist organizations, such as the Ku Klux Klan. Bibb Graves was a Klan leader at one point, so the decision was made to remove his name from the building.”
The committee was led by Dr. Janice Franklin and university archivist Dr. Howard Robinson. Removal of Graves’ name was unanimously approved by the ASU board of trustees.
Removing Graves, who was elected governor of Alabama on the strength of his support from the KKK, was a popular decision on campus and among alumni. Getting his name off the building had been a topic of discussion for decades.
Ross said the university will now begin the process of choosing a new name for the bell tower building.
“I am proud that we are able to make this happen during my tenure as president of the university,” Ross said.