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The University of Texas is considering changing the name of a dormitory that was named in honor of a prominent Klansman.

The school released a press release saying that University President William Powers Jr. will ask the University’s regents to rename Simkins Residence Hall; a male dorm named in honor of William Stewart Simkins, a former professor at the institution and member of the Ku Klux Klan.

Controversy swirled around the dorm after UT law professor Tom Russell researched Simkins and concluded that the dorm was named in his honor to send a message to African-Americans after the U.S. Supreme court decision in Brown V. Board Of Education.

In a research article Russell writes,

“Professor Simkins helped to organize the Ku Klux Klan in Florida at the conclusion of the American Civil War, and he advocated his Klan past to Texas students…During the 1950s, the memory and history of Professor Simkins supported the university’s resistance to integration. As the university faced pressure to admit African-American students, the university’s faculty council voted to name a dormitory after the Klansman and law professor.”

If approved by board members the building will be renamed Creekside Dormitory for a creek that runs nearby.

Simkins taught at the University’s law school from 1899 until his death in 1929.

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