Letter to the editor: Save Smith Hall

To the editor:

I am a lifelong member of the KU Alumni Association and am shocked to learn of KU’s intention to tear down Smith Hall, home of the religious studies department, and relegate it to a vacant portion of campus.

This midcentury architectural building provides an inspirational space to study the ethical and moral questions of the day and throughout human history. Understanding religious history is essential in creating societies of acceptance and tolerance. In light of the moral upheaval in our country today, this area of study requires a space of importance and reflection.

Adding to the beauty and spiritual connection to Smith Hall is the Moses sculpture, a monumental work by Elden Tefft, a past esteemed KU professor of art. The Moses sculpture faces the large stained-glass window of the burning bush and adds a sense of reverence to the outside space welcoming visitors and students.

Smith Hall was built in 1967 by public donations and the private funds of Irma Smith. It is insulting that after 55 years of service this building would be torn down and important works of art works relocated out of context to their inspiration. Donors may be reluctant to give their support if their dedicated interests are not respected. KU should focus more on education and the humanities versus other nonacademic financial expenditures. Smith Hall must be saved!

Candice Davis,



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