Harding University declines to rename building for Botham Jean

SEARCY, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas' largest private college says it won't change the name of a building that pays homage to a former school president who opposed integration.

A petition from a graduate of Harding University had sought to rename the Beroge S. Benson Auditorium after Botham Jean. Jean was a Black man killed in his living room in 2018 by a white Dallas police officer who said she mistook his apartment as her own.

Harding University President Bruce McLarty wrote a letter to the campus last week saying the name change won't happen.

McLarty says he plans to honor Jean "prominently and permanently" on campus but hasn't determined how.