BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Members of LSU’s administration and black student leaders met Wednesday night (June 10) to discuss race relations at the school’s campus moving forward.
Student leaders, Interim President Tom Galligan, and Board of Supervisors Chair Mary Werner made an announcement Wednesday night about cooperative agreements reached during their discussions.
Black student leaders announced after the meeting that the Middleton Library will be renamed, pending board approval.
“A serious issue facing most southern schools in 1956 was that of desegregation. While Middleton, like most white Louisianans, was in favor of segregation, as the university president his responsibility was to uphold the laws of the state and nation. In a letter to University of Texas Chancellor Harry Ransom, Middleton detailed his efforts to keep black and white students separate and to prevent black students from participating in athletics, in spite of accepting black students into the university. He wrote, ‘Our Negro students have made no attempt to attend social functions, participate in athletic contests, go in the swimming pool, etc. If they did, we would, for example, discontinue the operation of the swimming pool.’ In April he wrote a sobering report to the Board of Supervisors entitled ‘LSU and Segregation.’ Here he outlined the history of the enrollment of blacks at LSU, which showed how resistant the university had been to such an undertaking. While there were avid segregationists who declared the federal desegregation laws would not be fulfilled, more practical minds could see the futility and extreme expense of having to create duplicate facilities in every area of advanced education, and the process of integration, which had already begun at a slow pace, now became accelerated.”
“Troy H. Middleton became almost synonymous with LSU during his service to the University. As a major in the U.S. Army, Middleton arrived on campus in 1930 to become commandant of ROTC cadets. Middleton also served as assistant vice president of the University in the wake of the ‘University Scandals’ in 1939 and comptroller until the end of 1941. During the Second World War, Middleton ably served as a division and corps commander in the invasion of Sicily and Italy in 1943, the post-D-Day thrust through France and Belgium, in 1944, and as defender of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge in 1944-1945. Middleton returned to service at LSU after the war as comptroller and in 1951, the Board of Supervisors elected him president of the University, an office he held until 1962. It was largely through Middleton’s efforts that the new library became a reality. The library was officially named the Troy H. Middleton Library in 1979 after Middleton’s death.”
The Black Faculty & Staff Caucus posted the following letter Tuesday, June 9.
The Black Faculty & Staff Caucus posted the above letter Tuesday, June 9. (Facebook) RELATED STORIES:
For more about LSU’s stance against racial injustices,
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