Alabama university removes George Wallace's name from campus building
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The University of Alabama at Birmingham has removed the name of former governor and segregationist George Wallace from a physical education building.

University trustees on Friday unanimously approved the resolution removing Wallace’s name from the campus building, which was bestowed in 1975, according to The Associated Press.

Wallace was first elected governor in 1962 and vowed in his inaugural address to resist federal civil rights efforts and ensure “segregation forever.” In 1963, he stood in the doorway of an auditorium at the university’s flagship Tuscaloosa campus to prevent two Black students from integrating the school.

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Wallace also ran for president four times, as a third-party candidate in 1968 and in the Democratic primaries in 1964, 1972 and 1976. Wallace later renounced his support for segregation and apologized to the state’s Black residents, winning a fourth and final term as governor in 1982. He died in 1998.

In a statement, university trustee John England Jr. acknowledged Wallace’s renunciation of his segregationist views but said “his stated regret late in life did not erase the effects of the divisiveness that continue to haunt the conscience and reputation of our state,” according to the AP.

Wallace’s daughter Peggy Wallace Kennedy publicly backed the name change on the campus building, saying in a statement, “It is important to the university to always seek positive and meaningful change for the betterment of students, faculty and the community.”

Numerous buildings around the state bear Wallace’s name. In 2020, a petition called for the renaming of one such building at Auburn University, but no action was ever taken.