Music and NPR News for Central and Northern Michigan
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

MSU campus building to be renamed


Michigan State University Trustees have voted to rename a building on campus after its namesake’s Ku Klux Klan membership came to light.

The Nisbet Building was named for Stephen Nisbet, a former school administrator. It houses MSU’s human resources department. The book “Everyday Klansfolk” reveals evidence that Nisbet was a Klan member in Newaygo County in the 1920s.

Nisbet’s grandson, also named Stephen Nisbet, spoke during public comment to ask the board to table the motion while the matter undergoes a professional historical review.

President Samuel Stanley Jr. recognized the effect on the Nisbet family, but says the decision couldn’t be based on that impact.

        “Instead, it’s about acknowledging that the KKK has been engaged in extreme racism and horrific violence towards Black Americans from the end of the Civil War until today,” said Stanley.

In a unanimous vote, Trustees chose to rename the building after its address. It’s possible that a different namesake for the building could be chosen in the future.