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Oklahoma State to take segregationist’s name off buildings

June 19, 2020 GMT

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma State University will rename buildings on its campus that had honored a former governor who advocated for segregation and pushed to advance Jim Crow laws.

The university’s Board of Regents on Friday unanimously approved removing the Murray name from the buildings named for William H. “Alfalfa Bill” Murray.

Murray was a Democrat and activist in the Farmers’ Alliance, an economic organization set up to advocate for the interests of farmers in western states. He was deemed a progressive when he served as the state’s governor from 1931 to 1935.

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Before that, Murray served as president of the Oklahoma statehood convention in 1906, where he wrote major sections of the state constitution. He later served as speaker of the House in the state’s first Legislature, where he introduced a bill for a vote that included segregating all public transportation.

”For many on our campus, the building’s name has invoked reminders of this painful history,” OSU President Burns Hargis said earlier this week. “Oklahoma State is committed to eliminating systemic racism and embracing our responsibility as a university to support solutions to the inequality and injustice our country and community faces.”