(kennytong/Adobe)

The University of Texas will not rename Littlefield Fountain, but said it would: "Educate our community and visitors about the history and context."

The University of Texas at Austin will rename the Robert L. Moore Building and erect a statue of Julius Whittier—the university's first Black football player—among other steps, in response to concerns raised by athletes about creating a more inclusive campus.


But interim President Jay Hartzell also said that the school will not replace the song "Eyes of Texas," though it would '[o]wn, acknowledge and teach about all aspects of the origins."

Hartzell announced the series of changes in an email to the community Monday, saying the intent is to make the campus more "diverse and welcoming." Hartzell wrote that he spent the last month speaking with student groups, alumni and faculty members about how UT can better support Black students. This comes after UT athletes published a letter urging the university to address its racist history.

"I went into [these conversations] understanding that UT has worked hard in recent decades to become a more diverse and welcoming campus," Hartzell said. "I came out of them realizing there is still more work to do."

According to Hartzell, just over 5% of UT students are Black, a statistic that has remained relatively consistent for several years, despite the fact that 13% of Texas's population is Black. In the past five years, nearly 2,000 Black students were admitted to UT through automatic acceptance for high school class rankings, but chose not to attend.

"Obviously, these talented students had many college options and made choices for a variety of reasons," Hartzell wrote. "Equally obvious to me is that many of those talented students do not believe our campus will be a welcoming home to them, and that we have not provided enough resources to ensure they will get all that is possible out of a UT education."

Changes on campus will include the following:

  • Renaming the Robert L. Moore building, one of several buildings that students have long protested for being named after an outspoken segregationist. Other protested buildings and landmarks, such as Littlefield Fountain and the statue of Texas Gov. Jim Hogg, will remain on campus.
  • Renaming Joe Jamail Field in honor of Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams—two "Longhorn legends"—at "the suggestion of the Jamail family."
  • Adding a display and statue of Herman Sweatt to the T.S. Painter Hall. Painter, a university president, denied Sweatt admittance to UT's law school and the case went to the Supreme Court, where Painter lost.
  • Adding a statue for Julius Whittier, UT's first Black football player.
  • Committing to "own, acknowledge and teach about all aspects" of 'The Eyes of Texas,' the university's alma mater, which UT athletes called to eliminate for its racist roots and connotations.

Hartzell also listed ways in which the university will recruit and retain more diverse students and faculty.

Even so, some students and faculty expressed frustration that some of the athletes' requests will not be met.

This story has been updated with more information.

Want to read more stories like this one? Start every day with a quick look at what's happening in Austin. Sign up for Austonia.com's free daily morning email.
 


(Roschetzky Photography/Adobe)

To help make sense of all the information emerging about COVID-19 in Austin, we're answering a few big questions:

Keep Reading Show less
Eddie Gaspar/The Texas Tribune

Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate MJ Hegar raised $13.5 million in the third quarter.

By Patrick Svitek

MJ Hegar, the Democratic challenger to U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, announced Wednesday that she raised over $13.5 million in the third quarter, a massive improvement over her previous hauls.

Keep Reading Show less

A model walks during the fall 2019 Nefrfreshr show at Austin Fashion Week.

Austin Fashion Week is taking a page out New York Fashion Week's book and going online this year. After all, if New York Fashion Week can survive online showcases, why can't Austin's?
Keep Reading Show less

Pumpkin carving is considered a low risk Halloween activity by the CDC.

As temperatures drop below 100 degrees, fall and winter holidays are on the mind. However, with COVID-19 still rearing its head, the question remains: is it safe to gather for the holidays this year?

Keep Reading Show less
youtu.be
Make Me Feel by Jackie Venson (Live Performance and Lyric Video)

Austin native and musician Jackie Venson broke 1.5 million live streams during her summer concert series, ranking ninth on Pollstar's Top 50 Livestreamers list for Q3.

Keep Reading Show less
(jiawangkun/Adobe)

UT Austin announced this week that it is planning for a spring semester structured "in much the same way" as the current term.

Just over a month into the fall semester, the University of Texas at Austin announced that it plans to structure the spring semester "in much the same way," according to a community-wide email sent by President Jay Hartzell.

Keep Reading Show less
(Pexels)

Austin ISD will return to in-person learning on Monday, Oct. 5.

As Austin ISD prepares to join other area school districts in reopening for in-person learning, local health authorities said data shows transmission in school settings is mostly limited to extracurricular activities, such as football, cheerleading and band.

Keep Reading Show less