WGNS Radio, February 20, 2018
In April of 2016, MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee accepted a recommendation by the Forrest Hall Task Force to change the name of the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps building (ROTC). The task force was formed after a group of students and community members suggested the building should not represent a Confederate General with roots in the original KKK.
The structure that sits on the MTSU campus was named after Confederate Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest in 1952.
Forrest, who was known to have close ties to the original formation of the Ku Klux Klan, was also known for his battle tactics. Some of his battle strategies unfolded in Murfreesboro during the Civil War, which was one reason for the original naming of the building.
After McPhee approved a name change, the recommendation went to the Tennessee Board of Regents that also approved of such a change. From there, the recommendation went to the Tennessee Historical Commission.
Under Tennessee State Law, historic building names, monuments or markers on state property can’t be changed if the Tennessee Historical Commission does not approve the change. Local Historian Greg Tucker commented…
Again, the Tennessee Historical Commission did not find reason to allow for a name change on the ROTC building that sits on the MTSU campus. In other words, Forrest Hall will continue to be “Forrest Hall.”