UT President to Rename Ku Klux Klan-Linked Simkins Hall
The Ku Klux Klan has had a bastion on the UT campus since 1955, and the University is acting to do something about it.
Simkins Hall is named after former law professor William Stewart Simkins, a Ku Klux Klan leader who was in command during a time when the Klan killed 25 innocent people. Next week, the UT regents are expected to rename the all-male dormitory.
Oddly, it took a University of Denver law professor to bring this to light. Russell, who taught at UT in the 1990s, discovered the connection and documented it in a paper that will be published this fall in the South Texas Law Review. Russell says that Simkins had a portrait and bust in the law school, and students would touch the bust for luck without really knowing Simkin’s history with the Ku Klux Klan.
An article about the renaming of Simkins Hall in the Houston Chronicle has garnered hundreds of comments, most of them criticizing the change.