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Tulsa Law Removes Connection to Founder with KKK Ties
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John Rogers Hall Tulsa law

Summary: One of the founders of the University of Tulsa law school with a short connection with the KKK is being removed from the school building.

Another law school has discovered that a founder has ties to less-than-pleasant things. The University of Tulsa law school is removing the name of the founder from a school building after realizing he has ties to the Ku Klux Klan.


The trustees of the law school decided in a closed-door meeting to take down the name of John Rogers from the building but they do not have an alternative name chosen to replace it. Rogers was an attorney and philanthropist that helped found the law school back in 1943. He then served for years as the dean without pay and was a trustee for decades after.

Rogers also helped incorporate the KKK-affiliated Tulsa Benevolent Association. The association was started after the 1921 Tulsa race riot that killed 300 black members of the community and left part of downtown, known as Black Wall Street, destroyed.

A number of civil rights groups applaud the decision, including the NAACP. Some of the trustees are not so happy. At least one trustee opposed the action, stating that Rogers renounced the KKK two after two years and spent the next 60 years of his life trying to improve the community.

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As a peace offering, law school president Steadman Upham said a plaque highlighting Rogers’ contributions will be placed outside the building entrance. Over 250 students had signed an online petition to rename the building G. William Rice after a tribal law professor at the school that passed away earlier in the year.

Harvard law school removed its ties to a black slave owner earlier this year after discovering the connection. Other law schools are conducting reviews of their school buildings and other school materials to make sure problematic connections are removed.




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