MTSU names fifteen-member task force to determine the fate of ‘Forrest Hall’

MTSU faculty, students and alumni gather to march to change the name of Forrest Hall on Aug. 27, 2015. (MTSU Sidelines/Sarah Grace Taylor)

Middle Tennessee State University announced the members of the “task force” formed to determine the fate of the name of Forrest Hall. This after a student and faculty uprising this summer, protesting the name of the military science building which was named for confederate general and alleged Ku Klux Klan grand wizard, Nathan Bedford Forrest, in 1958.

The fifteen-person committee, including student government association president Lindsey Pierce and Senator Bill Ketron, will meet Thursday at 2 p.m. in room 220 of the Student Union Building according to a release from the university. The committee and open-forum meeting will be led by Derek Frisby, a faculty member in the Global Studies and Cultural Geography department.

The panel will serve to assess the name and decide wether or not to recommend a change to the university. Any proposed name change will have to be approved by the Tennessee Board of Regents before it is implemented.

According to the release, Thursday’s session would include planning of forums for public input and feedback, as well as a schedule for future meetings of the task force.

MTSU professor Van West, director of the university’s Center for Historic Presentation, is co-chair of the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission and director of the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area.

Van West will serve as a non-voting resource consultant to Frisby, who has authored numerous articles and essays dealing with Tennessee’s Civil War occupation and serves as a historical consultant to ROTC programs and National Guard units in and near Middle Tennessee.

Other members of the task force include:

  • Tony Beard, an alumni representative and president of the MTSU Alumni Association;
  • Leonard Brown, a student representative and a political science junior;
  • Tom Clark, a community representative;
  • Mark Doyle, a faculty representative and an associate professor of history;
  • Tricia Farwell, president of the MTSU Faculty Senate and faculty regent at the Tennessee Board of Regents;
  • Mike Liles, a community representative;
  • Grant Marshall, a student representative and a freshman majoring in organizational communication;
  • The Rev. James McCarroll, a community representative;
  • Erynn Murray, a student representative and vice president of the MTSU Graduate Student Association;
  • David Otts, a faculty representative and professor in the University College;
  • Lindsay Pierce, a student representative and president of the MTSU Student Government Association;
  • Barbara Turnage, a faculty representative and professor of social work;
  • Brian Walsh, an alumni representative

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