200605 Bibb Graves Hall 6

Peyton Barrow [MATT MCKEAN/TIMESDAILY]

FLORENCE — A University of North Alabama student's quest to remove the name of former Alabama Gov. David Bibb Graves from the building bearing his name must first be approved by the Student Government Association and the university's board of trustees.

Peyton Barrow, a student majoring in political science, said Monday he met Friday with Tate Gooch, 2020-21 Student Government Association president, and Ron Patterson, vice president for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at UNA.

Barrow said he learned that seeking the removal of a name from a campus building involves a three-step process.

First, he said, the request must be approved by the SGA.

Then it must go before the board of trustees.

"They have to approve it," Barrow said. "That's the one we're not so confident about."

If those two bodies approve the request, it will go before the Committee on Alabama Monument Protection in Montgomery.

The process of changing the names of memorial buildings is covered in the Memorial Preservation Act and is subject to the same restrictions as monuments.

Barrow said Graves, who served as governor of Alabama from 1927 to 1931 and from 1935 to 1939, was a grand cyclops in the Montgomery Chapter of the KKK. Several colleges and universities around the state are mounting similar efforts.

Barrow said students will likely make a request to remove the names of former Alabama Gov. Lurleen B. Wallace, the wife of Gov. George C. Wallace, and Richard H. Rivers, who served as president of LaGrange College from 1854 to 1861.

Rivers was the author of "Elements of Moral Philosophy," a college textbook used throughout the South in the 1850s justifying slavery on theological grounds.

Barrow said they're concentrating on Bibb Graves Hall and will likely address other buildings in the future.

Patterson said the SGA has not voted on whether to support changing the name of Bibb Graves Hall. 

"The SGA plans to meet Thursday," Patterson said.

Barrow said the university plans on conducting an independent study of the individuals whose names appear on various buildings on the UNA campus.

russ.corey@timesdaily.com

or 256-740-5738. Twitter

@TD_.RussCorey

(2) comments

Gary Wylie

Mr Barrow is obviously more interested in 'making a name for himself', than in removing the names of people from public buildings; men who achieved much more in their lives than Barrow will in his. Buildings and monuments are not named for 'perfect' people; no one since Jesus has been and never will be. Everyone has mistakes and errors in their life (even Mr Barrow), but some men overcome their faults and do achieve good things. And it's these good things they did which caused their names to be inscribed on buildings. Instead of attempting to 'tear down', Mr Barrow would be much more benefited to attempt to learn how/why such men as Bibb Graves achieved the governorship, in spite of his background in the KKK? We all live, and some of us learn. Mr Barrow? Have you checked into your relatives lives back in the 1700-1800's? I'd guess you probably have relatives who owned slaves and perhaps even were KKK members? Maybe we should eliminate the name 'Barrow' from our newspapers?

John Willis

Are we really going down this road of erasing our History? What does it say about us as a Nation ? I think it's telling why this generation is the first that is moving aggressively to destroy any part of our History they deem unfit. We have books and movies that are now considered RACIST ? Mark Twain and "Gone with the Wind"....really folks ? I think it's time for the grown ups to regain the control before we are not able to recognize the Country we live in ! This whole movement is beyond ridiculous! WAKE UP AMERICA

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.