CW / David Gray
The UA System Board of Trustees voted on Friday, Sept. 17 to rename the Ferguson Student Center and Moore Hall, two campus buildings at the center of a movement to remove racist namesakes from the UA campus.
The Board of Trustees unanimously voted in favor of renaming the Ferg to The University of Alabama Student Center and renaming A.B. Moore Hall in honor of Archie Wade, the first Black UA faculty member.
Trustee John England Jr. proposed the resolutions as chair of the building names working group, which the UA System established last June.
“In June 2020, President Pro Tem at the time, Trustee Ron Gray, asked this group to conduct a comprehensive review of named building structures and spaces on our campuses, relative to the University of Alabama System’s shared values: integrity, leadership, accountability, diversity, inclusion and respect,” England said. “This process requires thoughtful consideration, extensive research and frequent consultation with historians. We did all of that.”
England said William Hill Ferguson was an involved student during his time on campus, but his racist views are at “odds” with the current views of the UA System.
“We have been in contact with Mr. Ferguson’s family, a delightful group of individuals who I had the pleasure of getting to know,” England said. “They recognize Mr. Ferguson’s past views are inconsistent with our system’s shared values and respect our recommendation to rename the building. Mr. Ferguson’s substantial contributions will be honored in a more appropriate way.”
England spoke highly of Archie Wade, the honoree for Wade Hall.
“Although Dr. Wade would never describe himself as a trailblazer, he became the first African American faculty member here at the University in 1970,” England said. “This bold move, on his part, paved the way for the integration of minority faculty members across our system.”
During Wade’s 30-year career in the department of kinesiology, England said he was an exemplary educator, a founding member of the Black Faculty and Staff Association and a driving force behind the integration of then Denny Stadium.
He later helped recruit some of Bear Bryant’s first Black football players.
Wade still resides in Tuscaloosa.
The Board of Trustees renamed Honors Hall, the English Building, and Presidents Hall in fall 2020. At the time, England said he hoped the buildings would be renamed for an “appropriate individual” in the future.
Correction: This story incorrectly stated that Wade played football under Bear Bryant. He only recruited football players under Bryant.