University of Alabama gives two buildings new legacy with new names

Wade Hall

By WVUA 23 News Reporter Ellie Byrd

Two more buildings at the University of Alabama are leaving their original namesakes behind as part of the school’s push toward a more inclusive future.

The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees voted on Friday to rename the Ferguson Student Center to the University of Alabama Student Center and A.B. Moore Hall to Wade Hall.

Wade Hall is named for Archie Wade Hall, the first Black faculty member at the university in 1970 who was a professor of kinesiology for more than 30 years. Wade, who still lives in Tuscaloosa, said he’s honored to have his name decorate a building.

He said it was lonely being the only African American on campus and at staff meetings, but what made it all worth it was teaching. During his tenure, legendary football coach Paul W. “Bear” Bryant asked for his help recruiting African Americans for the Crimson Tide.

“If you stay focused and put in the hard work, you’ll be rewarded in some way,” Wade said. “I never thought in my life that I’d ever have a building with my name on it, but it can happen.”

Wade said he can’t wait to take his family and see the building that now features his name.

The Ferguson Student Center, built in 1973 and commonly known as the Ferg, was named for William Hill Ferguson, a former UA Board of Trustees member who opposed desegregation. Moore Hall was named in 1975 for Albert Burton Moore, a UA history professor who died in 1967.

The new names come after a student-led campaign highlighting the buildings’ namesakes’ pasts and how they are at odds with the university’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. The UA System set up a review of building names and began renaming buildings last year.

In addition to the two renamed last week, Nott Hall was renamed Honors Hall, Morgan Hall was renamed English Hall and Manly Hall was renamed Presidents Hall.

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