JACKSONVILLE, Ala. – Jacksonville State University’s Bibb Graves Hall will soon have a new name.
The university announced on Tuesday that the building would be renamed Angle Hall (pronounced “angel”) in honor of alumni and benefactors Marcus E. Angle Jr. and his wife Mary.
President Don Killingsworth called the vote the beginning of a “new, more modern era” for the historic building.
“Events across the country last summer forced many of our students, government leaders, alumni and staff to consider renaming Bibb Graves Hall to reflect a more unified campus that believes in social justice and equality. What the Executive Board approved today heralds a new, more modern era important piece of university history. “
JSU President Don Killingsworth
The Angles met 36 years ago on the JSU campus during their undergraduate careers, where both were active in several student groups. Marcus was president of the student government, a member of the Kappa Alpha Order fraternity, and a member of the 1980 baseball team. Mary was a marching ballerina in the Marching Southerners.
Since graduating with a bachelor’s degree in finance in 1982, Marcus received an MBA from Samford University and currently serves as Regions Bank’s director of the commercial banking district for Texas and Louisiana.
Mary earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education in 1988 and taught elementary school in Jacksonville, Florida; Atlanta; Birmingham; and Dallas.
The Anniston Native people now live in Plano, Texas, and their daughter Darby recently graduated from JSU with a bachelor’s degree in sports management and recreation. She was also involved and participated in the 2019 Miss Alabama pageant as Miss JSU. She was also a marching ballerina and a member of the Alpha Xi Delta Sorority.
During the opening ceremony in December 2020, Marcus said he would still choose JSU and said it made me the man I am today.
While the Angles have made several gifts to JSU over the years, this is the first to have their name assigned. Marcus said it was important to make sure Bibb Graves Hall was renamed.
“The diversity at JSU makes it special, and ultimately, diversity is good for any company, university, or company. On campus, we have kids who are academically gifted and we have kids who want to be academically gifted. We have those who come on campus and have a lot of wealth, and we have students who have two part-time jobs to pay for their education. We have people of different nationalities, backgrounds and religious beliefs. For this reason, JSU can offer everyone an excellent and equal learning environment. “
Marcus E. Angle, Jr.
The building, which was originally built in 1930 as the main classroom and administration building of the JSU, continues to serve as the main administration building of the university and houses the presidential suite of Dr. Clarence Willliam Daugette Sr., who housed eight of the university’s 13 presidents.
Angle Hall also houses the university’s finance, human resources, and student services offices.
The building was originally named after two-time Alabama governor Bibb Graves, along with several other buildings at universities and colleges across Alabama.
The university said his previous personal affiliations conflicted with JSU’s “current and unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion,” which led the board of trustees to vote in favor of renaming the building.
Bibb Graves Hall will be phased out in university marketing materials in the next few months. A solemn inauguration ceremony is planned for April.
JSU isn’t the first Alabama university or college to rename a building with Graves’ name. Troy University renamed its current former Bibb Graves Hall to the late MP John Lewis last August.
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