Jacksonville State University renames Bibb Graves Hall

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JSU Campus (Photo: JSU, Facebook)

JACKSONVILLE, Ala. – Jacksonville State University’s Bibb Graves Hall will soon have a new name.

The university announced Tuesday the building will 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 start of a “new, more modern era” for the historic building.

“Events across the nation last summer compelled many of our students, student government leaders, alumni, and employees to request that we consider renaming Bibb Graves Hall to reflect a more unified campus that believes in social justice and equality. What the Board has approved today ushers in a new, more modern era for this important piece of the university’s history.”

JSU President Don Killingsworth

The Angles met on JSU’s campus 36 years ago during their undergraduate careers, where both were active in multiple student groups. Marcus was president of student government, a member of the Kappa Alpha Order fraternity, and was on the 1980 baseball team. Mary was a Marching Ballerina in the Marching Southerners.

Since graduating with a Bachelor’s in finance in 1982, Marcus received an MBA from Samford University and currently serves Regions Bank as the commercial banking district director for both Texas and Louisiana.

Mary earned a Bachelor’s in early childhood education in 1988 and taught elementary school in Jacksonville, Florida; Atlanta; Birmingham; and Dallas.

The Anniston natives now reside in Plano, Texas, and their daughter Darby recently graduated from JSU as well with a Bachelor’s in sport management and recreation. She too was involved, participating as Miss JSU in the 2019 Miss Alabama Pageant, along with being a Marching Ballerina and member of Alpha Xi Delta Sorority.

During the December 2020 commencement ceremony, Marcus said he would still choose JSU, saying it “made me the man that I am today.”

While the Angles have made several gifts over the years to JSU, this one is the first that has had their name attached to it. Marcus said it was important to make sure Bibb Graves Hall was renamed.

“JSU’s diversity is what makes it special, and ultimately, diversity is good for any corporation, university, or business. On campus, we have kids who are gifted academically, and we have kids who want to be gifted academically. We have those who come to campus who have a lot of wealth, and we have students who work two part-time jobs to pay for their education. We have people of different nationalities, backgrounds, and religious beliefs. And because of this, JSU is able to provide an outstanding and equal learning environment for all.”

Marcus E. Angle, Jr.

The building, originally built in 1930 as JSU’s main classroom and administration building continues to serve as the university’s main administration building, housing the Dr. Clarence Willliam Daugette Sr. Presidential Suite, which has housed eight of the university’s 13 presidents.

Angle Hall also houses the financial, human resources, and student services offices for the university as well.

The building was originally named for two-term Alabama Governor Bibb Graves, along with several other buildings at universities and colleges across Alabama.

The university said his past personal affiliations conflict 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 over the next few months, with a formal rededication ceremony scheduled for April.

JSU is not the first Alabama university or college to rename a building with Graves’s name. Troy University renamed their now-former Bibb Graves Hall for the late Rep. John Lewis last August.

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