President McPhee accepts recommendation to rename Forrest Hall

MTSU President Sidney McPhee released a letter Thursday morning, accepting the recommendation made by the Forrest Hall Task Force to change the name of the university’s ROTC building.

The building, was named after Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, whose ties to slavery and the Ku Klux Klan have made the name controversial.

After eight months of student, alumni and faculty protests, the task force announced their recommendation to rename the building on April 19.

In his letter to Task Force Chair Derek Frisby, McPhee explained that he is accepting the recommendation to promote a more modern and inclusive environment at MTSU.

I do not feel it is my role to discern the appropriateness or relevance of [Forrest’s] actions prior, during or after the Civil War. It was appropriate, however, for me to assess whether the decision made in the middle of the 20th Century to name the building for General Forrest remains in our best interest in the second decade of the 21st Century…the values and goals we share in 2016 as a comprehensive university with international reach are not best reflected by retaining a name affixed in 1958 when we were a small local college that rarely extended beyond our region. As such, I accept the task force’s consensus

Though McPhee and the task force have recommended a name change, the Tennessee Board of Regents must accept the change, at which point the change must also pass the Tennessee Historical Commission by a two-thirds majority.

No replacement name has been selected.

According to an estimate by Frisby, it will be spring 2018 before the building is renamed.


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