University of Missouri

46-1: A Joint MSA/RHA/LBC Resolution Urging the University of Missouri Board of Curators to Dedicate the General Classroom Building to Professor Emeritus Arvarh E. Strickland and College Avenue Housing to Martin Luther King

PURPOSE: To rename the General Classroom Building as Arvarh E. Strickland Hall and to rename College Avenue Housing to Martin Luther King Jr.

WHEREAS, In September 1969 the University of Missouri—Columbia Department of History hired Arvarh E. Strickland to be its first full-time black faculty member, and

WHEREAS, Strickland set a new standard for minority hiring practices among predominately white universities by arriving as a tenured full professor, and

WHEREAS, Strickland taught the first Black History course at the University, and

WHEREAS, Strickland served as a special assistant to Chancellor Herbert Schooling with the task of recruiting more black professors to the University, and

WHEREAS, Strickland protested the law school’s reluctance to recruit black candidates for its openings in the late 1960s, later commenting, “If Thurgood Marshall would have been willing to leave the Supreme Court and accept an assistant professor position at MU, perhaps the law school would have hired him,” and

WHEREAS, Strickland worked for the establishment of the MU Black Studies Program and the appointment of Carolyn A. Dorsey as its coordinator in 1977, and

WHEREAS, Strickland, with Dorsey’s support, recruited Clyde Ruffin to organize the MU Black Theatre Workshop in 1981, and

WHEREAS, Strickland encouraged the hiring of Michael A. Middleton, a founding member of the Legion of Black Collegians and the current Deputy Chancellor, as the law school’s first African American faculty member in 1985, and

WHEREAS, Strickland’s efforts resulted in the hiring of K.C. Morrison as Vice Provost of Minority Affairs and Faculty Development in 1988, and

WHEREAS, Strickland retired in January 1996, and

WHEREAS, The Arvarh H. Strickland Distinguished Professorship of African American History and Culture, established in 1999, represents the first endowed chair named after a living African American scholar, and

WHEREAS, Strickland published History of the Chicago Urban League, the first scholarly study of a local racial advancement organization, in 2001, and

WHEREAS, the Chancellor’s Hall Naming Committee is also expected to recommend that a building be named after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and

WHEREAS, the Student Governments on campus have located two buildings on campus to be named after a prominent African American: College Avenue Hall and the General Classroom Building.

THEREFORE: Be it resolved by the Residence Halls Association that the University of Missouri Board of Curators dedicate the General Classroom Building to Professor Emeritus Arvarh E. Strickland and rename the building Arvarh E. Strickland Hall, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED by the Residence Halls Association that the University of Missouri Board of Curators dedicate College Avenue Housing to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and rename the building Martin Luther King Jr. Hall.

Respectfully submitted,

Jonathan Mays
MSA Senate Operations Chairman

Justin Ginter
RHA President

Jabari Turner
LBC President