OSU regents to vote on Murray Hall name removal

Murray Hall

Murray Hall is home to OSU's Department of Geography. The building is named after William H. Murray, the ninth governor of Oklahoma.

Two buildings at Oklahoma State University may be looking for a new name soon.

On Friday, the OSU board of regents will vote to remove the name "Murray" from Murray Hall and North Murray Hall. These halls were named after Oklahoma’s ninth governor William H. “Alfalfa Bill” Murray, who had a record of advocacy for racist policies including segregation and the promotion of Jim Crow laws.

"For many on our campus, the building’s name has invoked reminders of this painful history," OSU President Burns Hargis said in a statement. "Oklahoma State is committed to eliminating systemic racism and embracing our responsibility as a university to support solutions to the inequality and injustice our country and community faces."

This decision comes after an online petition to change the name garnered over 5,000 signatures. 

"I appreciate the leadership demonstrated by the many on our campus who have come forward in support of the name removal, including students, faculty, staff and alumni groups and the more than 5,000 individuals who have signed a Change.org petition regarding the building’s name," Hargis said. 

In addition to having Hargis' support, the students at OSU have also been encouraged by the board of regents chair Tucker Link.

"We praise the leadership demonstrated by the many groups and individuals who have called for the name’s removal," Link said. "A deliberate, inclusive process was followed, resulting in the Student Government Association (SGA) putting forth a resolution. The resolution was unanimously approved by The Policy Review Committee that included representatives from SGA, faculty, staff and alumni. President Hargis then shared this resolution with The Board, along with his recommendation to consider and vote it into action, which we fully intend to do."