Texas A&M's Academic Building will keep its 100-year-old name, according to several sources who told The Eagle this morning that the regents have canceled today's meeting in which they were set to vote on renaming it after Gov. Rick Perry.
Perry, who earlier in the week said through a spokesperson that he'd be honored to have the iconic building with his name on it, is expected to decline the proposal outlined in an agenda. The renaming was the only item on the agenda.
It's unclear if a different building will be named after the governor, who served in the Corps of Cadets and was a yell leader before graduating in 1972.
The cancellation comes two days after current and former A&M students took to social media to express widespread disappointment - and, for some, even disdain - over the suggestion that one of the most beloved buildings would be renamed after a person. Many commenters on news stories, including The Eagle's article, were upset that Perry-appointed regents were positioned to make the decision with little notice and without input from students or former students.
A&M Interim President Mark Hussey said in a statement Tuesday that he was asked by the Board of Regents to give input regarding a possible building naming opportunity to honor Perry for his support of A&M and service to the state.
"I am supportive of honoring Gov. Perry and I asked the development strategy council to provide me input for the board's consideration," Hussey said in the statement, in which he said he provided the information to the board.
His statement does not say what recommendation was made by the council or whether it suggested the Academic Building. Hussey couldn't immediately be reached for comment Thursday.
Asked what kind of feedback The Association of Former Students has received on the issue, Kathryn Greenwade, vice president for the organization, wrote: “Former student opinion on campus matters will often be as diverse as our 386,000 living former students. On this matter, many have expressed their opinions through social media channels and some have reached out directly to The Association to share their thoughts. We have received around 50 emails and phone calls on this topic, with all of these voicing their preference that the Academic Building remain the Academic Building. We have been and will continue to share all feedback we receive with the Board of Regents.“
A person answering phones at the regent's office late this morning said she was not aware of the regent's canceling the meeting; it was cancelled over the lunch hour.
Perry is scheduled to be the guest speaker at tonight's graduation convocation on the A&M campus. He couldn't be immediately reached this morning to comment for this story.