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University of Oklahoma Removes Name of Former Klan Leader

July 21, 1988

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ The University of Oklahoma regents voted Wednesday to change the name of a building dedicated to a former grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, according to a group that fought for the change.

The regents voted 6-1 to remove the name DeBarr Hall from the university’s chemistry building, the group said. The late Edwin DeBarr was one of the first four faculty members of the university, and a Klan leader.

Debra Rives, chairwoman of the Norman chapter of Students for a Democratic Society, said she was ″thrilled″ the regents approved the change, which her 1960s-rooted organization reorganized to fight for.

″The message that we hope it gives is that OU is trying very hard to erase the symbols of racism that have existed on this campus for a number of years,″ Rives said.

Student government groups, the chemistry faculty and the Faculty Senate all urged the regents to change the name.

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