Morgan Hall

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Morgan Hall is a three-story academic building at 420 Capstone Drive on the campus of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. It currently houses the University's Department of English, and its auditorium, which underwent a $1 million renovation in 2000, serves as a performance space for the school's dance programs.

Morgan Hall was constructed in 1911 and originally served both the English department and the School of Law. It was designed in the Beaux-Arts style and constructed of Missouri yellow brick with limestone trim. It's design complements the slightly older Smith Hall at the opposite end of Capstone Drive. It was named for U.S. Senator John Tyler Morgan who lobbied congress for the land grant given to the school by the United States government in reparation for its troops having burned the campus during the Civil War.

In 1970 the Morgan Hall Auditorium hosted a meeting between campus administrators and students who were protesting against the disruption of free Sunday afternoon rock concerts in Woods Hall Quad. Experimental College head Bill Moody told President David Mathews that rock concerts were a "basic human right." The concerts were permitted to resume under increased scrutiny and oversight.

Another controversy arose in 1987 when a production of student Walter Alves stage play "Babylon Motel" was canceled Arts and Sciences dean Richard Peck. The play, which was to contain a scene with approximately 15 seconds of nudity, also included violence and references to underage sexuality and homosexuality.

In December 2015 a portrait of Morgan was removed to make room for an exhibit of artwork from the Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art. The decision by Arts and Sciences dean Robert Olin was praised by the campus group We Are Done as a positive step because Morgan was an outspoken white supremacist, delegate to the Alabama Secession Convention, a Confederate officer, and a grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan in Alabama. Shortly after the death of author and Alabama alumna Harper Lee in February 2016, calls were made to rename the building in her honor.


  • "300 students rally in support of play" (February 21, 1987) Times Daily
  • Tilford, Earl H. (2014) Turning the Tide: The University of Alabama in the 1960s. Tuscaloosa:University of Alabama Press ISBN 9780817318147
  • University of Alabama Campus Map - accessed February 19, 2016
  • Enoch, Ed (December 18, 2015) "Confederate general's portrait replaced in Morgan Hall." Tuscaloosa News