Showing posts with label Troy University. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Troy University. Show all posts

Friday, October 02, 2020

Late Rep. John Lewis' name goes on Troy University building

Just over a month after announcing the change, Troy University has put the new name on one of its signature buildings.

It used to be Bibb Graves Hall that was seated at the head of the quad on its main campus. But that name has been removed.

University officials renamed the building in honor of the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis in August. And on Thursday, the building’s sign officially went up.

Graves was Alabama’s governor in the the 1920s and 30s. He was also a member of the Ku Klux Klan. His name has appeared on multiple buildings in Alabama, as well as a bridge.

Lewis, who was born in Pike County, is best known as a civil rights icon and a political leader in Georgia. He was among those beaten by Alabama State Troopers while marching on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965.

Lewis died in July. Troy University was the site of multiple memorials for him.


Monday, August 31, 2020

Troy University to name building after Congressman John Lewis

The Troy University Board of Trustees voted to rename historic Bibb Graves Hall at the Troy, Alabama, campus in honor of U.S. Congressman and Civil Rights leader John Lewis.

The name change is effective immediately, and the building will now bear the name John Robert Lewis Hall.

“John Lewis is a towering figure in American history, whose leadership and advocacy for non-violent change have left a lasting legacy for us all,” said Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor. “Although Rep. Lewis once sought admission to then Troy State College as a young man and was sadly ignored, I am pleased to say that he became a friend to the University. He visited our campuses several times and was a profound influence on many of us. I am grateful to the Board of Trustees for choosing to honor this Pike County native with this name change.”

Lewis was born the son of sharecroppers on February 21, 1940, outside of Troy, Alabama. He grew up on his family’s farm and attended segregated public schools in Pike County. As a young boy, he was inspired by the activism surrounding the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the words of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., which he heard on radio broadcasts. In those pivotal moments, he made a decision to become a part of the Civil Rights Movement and he rapidly emerged as a leader in the vanguard of progressive social movements and the human rights struggle in the United States.

“We are honored that Troy University Board of Trustees and Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr. saw it fit to rename one of its signature buildings John Robert Lewis Hall,” the Lewis family said in a statement. “We are so proud of this distinction.”

The board voted unanimously to approve the change and honor the longtime congressman.

“I am proud of my fellow Board members for unanimously approving the resolution to honor Congressman John Lewis,” said Gibson Vance, President Pro Tempore of the TROY Board of Trustees. “John Lewis’ character, spirit and selflessness reflect the values we strive to embrace every day at Troy University.”

Troy University previously honored Lewis with an honorary doctorate in 1989 and the Hall-Waters Prize in 2006 for his memoir “Walking with the Wind.” He was also the keynote speaker in 2018 during the annual Leadership Conference Celebrating African American History Month, which has since been renamed the Congressman John Lewis Leadership Conference.

“Naming this building in honor of Congressman Lewis is a great testament to the legacy of a man whose blood, sweat and tears continue to make Alabama and America a better place for all people,” said Lamar P. Higgins, Vice President Pro-Tempore.

Planning is under way for a ceremony to dedicate John Robert Lewis Hall, with details to be announced soon.