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Family of former LSU president denounce decision to rename Middleton Library

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Posted at 10:29 AM, Jun 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-12 11:30:38-04

The family of former LSU president Troy H. Middleton has denounced the university's decision to consider changing the campus library's name.

The library is currently named for Middleton who supported racial segregation.

The Middleton Family released the following statement to the Advocate on Thursday:

"General Troy Middleton was an American hero and Louisiana icon. We expressly and unequivocally denounce the university's dishonorable plan to remove his name and memorials from the very library the funds for which he led the university's effort to obtain from the state legislature," the statement reads. "We encourage the public to reach out personally to each member of the Board of Supervisors, and to the Governor's office, to express their outrage at this proposed defenestration. We further encourage the Board of Supervisors to take this opportunity to make a principled stand against erasure of this great state's history."

LSU announced with black student leaders Wednesday night that it would rename Middleton Library, pending board approval.

University administrators have held meetings with black student leaders to discuss ways to bring more racial justice to LSU's campus. Including removing Middleton's name from the library.

The LSU Board of Supervisors will discuss the name change at its June 19 meeting.

Governor John Bel Edwards said Thursday that he supports the renaming of the library.

“I support changing the name of Middleton Library at Louisiana State University, in acknowledgment that segregation is and was wrong.

Throughout history, students have always led and been integral to transforming our state and country for the better. I applaud the African American student leaders, and the many who came before them, for their bravery and tireless efforts to bring about this change. As an LSU alumnus, I applaud the leadership of LSU for being open to their concerns, taking action, and working to bring greater diversity to the university.

We cannot change what has happened in the past and this does not erase a history of racial injustice. But we can choose to no longer glorify a time of racial segregation or those who sought to discriminate against our African American brothers and sisters.

The past several weeks have been a painful reckoning in our country and our state. The conversations we are having – on campuses, in board rooms and at our own kitchen tables – since the senseless death of George Floyd are long overdue. I am confident that we can come together as the diverse people that we are to confront inequality and become a more inclusive and just community. And I am heartened to see our tenacious young people leading the charge. I am praying for all of us as we take on this challenge.”

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