The Tennessee Board of Regents approved a name change of Forrest Hall Friday afternoon, sending the decision to the Tennessee Historical commission.
After the Forrest Hall Task Force and University President Sidney McPhee approved the name change in April, the TBR was asked to consider the recommendation and approved unanimously.
Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, the namesake of MTSU’s Army ROTC building since 1958, has been under scrutiny off-and-on since the building was named due to his ties to slavery and the Ku Klux Klan. Since the Charleston AME shooting in June 2015, students, faculty and alumni have protested over the name.
“I feel one step closer to getting our mission accomplished. We, Talented Tenth, have worked so hard to change this name and it is beginning to show,” MTSU student and Talented Tenth activist Arionna White said after the TBR’s decision. “Our fight still isn’t over as the overall decision is in the hands of the Tennessee Historical Committee. We hope they see a change is needed as much as we do.”
The Tennessee Historical Commission must still approve the name change with a two-thirds majority, at which point, if approved, the deliberation on the new name will begin.
According to an estimate by Forrest Hall Task Force Chair Derek Frisby in April, it will likely be spring 2018 before the name is changed.
To learn more about Forrest and the debate, see our special section on Forrest Hall.