It’s a process that has driven people apart, with passion on both sides of the debate to keep or change the name of Forrest Hall.
“I’m in favor of changing the name because I believe for the students of this campus it’s the most unifying decision this panel can make,” said student and Forrest Hall task force member Grant Marshall.
Tuesday was the final of five meetings. The 16 panel members made their opinions known.
“I would also like to formally vote to retire the name of Forrest Hall on MTSU’s campus because of the progress and strides we continuously make toward inclusion and celebrating diversity,” said student government president and task force member Lindsay Pierce.
Only a couple members spoke against a name change.
“I believe that discussion should be associated with keeping the name but adding historical perspective,” said task force member and alum Brig. Gen. (Ret) David Ogg, Jr.
After five months, the panel’s path forward was clear for the first time.
“The consensus of the committee with notable opposition would be to recommend a name change,” said Chairman Dr. Derek Frisby.
“It’s a victory,” said student organizer Brandon Woodruff. “(It’s) a war that we’re fighting but it’s just a battle.”
Nathan Bedford Forrest was a Confederate General and had early ties to the KKK.
“The building that has such derogatory and brutal meanings associated with it,” Woodruff said.
Many around Murfreesboro said Forrest’s military record makes the ROTC building appropriately named.
“Nathan Bedford Forrest is revered in this community. His raid on Murfreesboro saved the heir of one of MTSU’s founders,” said task force member and community representative Mike Liles. (continue reading)