Today marks an important moment for our university as the confederate monument has been moved from the Circle at the center of campus to the cemetery near Tad Smith Coliseum. I want to thank and commend the students, faculty, staff and administration, as well as alumni and university foundation boards, who provided valuable input and support for the relocation effort. Your commitment to bring about what’s best for our university made all the difference.
In addition, I’d like to thank the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and the Board of Trustees of the Institutions of Higher Learning for giving us the necessary support to move the monument to a more suitable location.
Since my June 22 update to the university community, we have revisited aspects of the project and I would like to provide an important update. Last month, we requested a ground penetrating radar survey inside the cemetery walls to determine the depth of cover material over the buried remains. The results of this survey were received in two parts on June 26 and June 29. The survey concluded that in some places minimal ground cover could create a high probability of disturbing the graves. Consequently, and after many conversations and serious consideration, I feel excavating within the walls of the cemetery presents a significant risk of disturbing remains. This is a risk I am not prepared nor willing to take.
This has been an important issue for our university, and today’s relocation is a meaningful change for our community. I’m inspired by our ongoing commitment to strengthen our campus as a positive, productive and welcoming educational environment for all.
Glenn F. Boyce