Friday, July 12, 2024

Forrest Hall: McPhee requests name change from Tennessee Historical Commission 


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Photo by Sarah Grace Taylor / Editor-in-Chief 

MTSU President Sidney McPhee requested that the Tennessee Historical Commission change the name of Forrest Hall late Tuesday afternoon.

The Commission will have to approve the name change by a two-thirds majority vote following changes made to the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act earlier this year.

In his letter to the Commission, McPhee requested the change be considered at the Commission’s February meeting.

“On behalf of Middle Tennessee State University and the Tennessee Board of Regents, I am
writing to inform the Tennessee Historical Commission of our intent to file a Petition for Waiver
regarding Forrest Hall, a structure on our Murfreesboro campus. Our petition will request
approval to rename the structure as the Army ROTC Building.”

The request comes three months after the Tennessee Board of Regents unanimously approved the change and five months after the Forrest Hall Task Force recommended a renaming.

With protests over the name on campus since June 2015, the commission will be the final step in approving the motion to rename the ROTC building.

If it is decided that the name should be changed, there will then be another process in determining to what the name should be.

In April, Forrest Hall Task Force chair Derek Frisby estimated it would be 2018 before the name change process begins.


To learn more about Forrest and the debate, see our special section on Forrest Hall.

For more news, follow us at, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter at @Sidelines_News.

To contact News Editor Amanda Freuler, email


  1. The concept of changing the name of Forrest Hall has been an issue since I began going to school here in August, 2015. I remember living in Corlew Hall, right next door to Forrest, and on my way to class just a few weeks into the semester I saw a group of African American students peacefully protesting with picket signs. This was my first hands-on experience with any type of protest and it really struck a chord with me. Ever since that day I have completely supported the notion to change the name of Forrest Hall. My issue with this situation is how long it has taken to become a reality, and how long it will still take to carry out the process of actually changing the name. This issue has been relevant since 2015, it is now 2017, and this article says that there still may not be any progress until 2018, and possibly later. I am pleased to see that there is activity with this issue, but I would still like to see some momentum and speed added to the project.

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