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Perry Declines Texas A&M Building Honor

Cushing Memorial Library and Archives, Texas A&M University/Texas Tribune
Rick Perry as a student and a cadet at Texas A&M University.

The Academic Building at Texas A&M University will not have its name changed to the Governor Rick Perry ’72 Building after all.

The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents was scheduled to meet Thursday afternoon to approve renaming the building, but Perry has declined the honor, his office confirmed. The regents have canceled the meeting.

In prepared remarks for a speech he will deliver at the university’s graduation convocation Thursday, Perry intends to say, “Upon deep reflection, I have informed the Board of Regents of my decision to politely decline this great honor. I do so because certain places on this campus, like our most sacred traditions, transcend any one individual.”

The Eagle of Bryan-College Station had reported earlier Thursday that Perry was expected to decline the proposal.

The Academic Building, which turned 100 this year, is one of the university's most iconic buildings. News of the name change was met with opposition.

Thousands of students signed a petition against the renaming, and The Battalion, the A&M student newspaper, editorialized that the decision was made without seeking student input — and that while Perry "might deserve campus recognition," he should be given something "other than the Academic Building."

In his remarks, Perry will say, “I want the Academic Building to be called the Academic Building in 2114, long after we are all gone.”

Original story: The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents will meet on Thursday to consider renaming a historic building on the flagship College Station campus after a famous alumnus: Gov. Rick Perry.

According to a filing with the secretary of state's office, the regents will vote on whether to rename Texas A&M's generic-sounding Academic Building the "Governor Rick Perry '72 Building." They will also consider a resolution honoring Perry for his "outstanding dedication and service" as the longest-serving governor in Texas history.

The Academic Building, which recently turned 100, is one of its most iconic structures on campus. Formerly the home of the university's library, it now is mostly office space for several academic departments, including sociology and modern languages.

--by Reeve Hamilton with The Texas Tribune

The Texas Tribune provided this story.