Big news for ASU! Historic building renamed after Civil Rights icon Jo Ann Robinson

Named After Jo Ann Robinson
Now Jo Ann Robinson Hall. (David Campbell / Alabama State University)

Alabama State University is changing the game…and the name. 😉 On Tuesday, April 19, ASU honored one of the nation’s most important civil rights icons, Jo Ann Robinson. Keep reading to see how her legacy lives on.

Making changes

Alabama State University
ASU is being the change. (Alabama State University / Facebook)

Alabama State University honored Jo Ann Robison by renaming one of the campus’s historic residence halls in honor of the University legend and civil rights activist. The change was made after research was done to identify campus buildings named after leaders of racist organizations.

ASU is making moves. University leaders researched the history of all the names on all buildings and streets on ASU’s campus, identified the names with segregationist ties and found ways to honor those who fought for civil rights. Bibb Graves Hall was one of the first to be renamed.

Robinson’s legacy

Robinson Joanne Mug
Montgomery icon! (Alabama State University)

Jo Ann Robinson was very involved in the Montgomery African-American community. She was a professor at ASU and a key figure in launching and executing the Montgomery Bus Boycott. She sat on the MIA Negotiation Team with Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr and ultimately helped launch him onto the national stage.

She played a pivotal role in changing the lives of African-Americans in Montgomery and beyond. The University’s president addressed the community after the curtain was lifted on Jo Ann Robinson Hall on Tuesday.

“Jo Ann Robinson was one of the catalysts behind the Montgomery Bus Boycott and is representative of the many faculty and staff members who were instrumental in bringing about one of the most impactful periods in the history of civil rights in the United States. We are proud to be able to celebrate her contributions in this manner.”

Quinton T. Ross, Jr., President, Alabama State University


Unveiling the new name. (Alabama State University)

The decision for ASU followed other state universities like Troy and Jacksonville State who renamed buildings that were named after Graves.

Alabama State has a history of community engagement and producing alumni who continue to serve their communities. We are excited to see these big changes from ASU!

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Callie Puryear
Callie Puryear
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