A year ago this month, our grandfather, Gen. Troy H. Middleton, was labeled an unrepentant “racist” by LSU. Despite his extraordinary lifetime of service to the country, state and LSU, university administrators held press conferences, rallies and proclaimed “good riddance” to his memory. They struck his name — our name — from everywhere it was found on the LSU campus, including the library he helped to build.
General Middleton passed away in 1976 and was buried in Baton Rouge, the city he considered his home. During his lifetime, Gen. Middleton amassed a treasure trove of commendations, memories, photographs and artifacts related to his service to our country. Late in his life, Gen. Middleton loaned the entirety of his vast collection to LSU to display for the benefit of the LSU community.
After LSU’s public vilification of our grandfather, in which the administration branded him an unrepentant “racist” despite contrary evidence, Gen. Middleton’s family reached out to LSU for the return of the collection. LSU at first agreed, citing its understanding the collection was “on loan” and was to be returned. Those communications with LSU’s administration and its general counsel are in writing. However, several prominent LSU donors decided they had other plans for the Middleton Collection. They wanted to use our family’s legacy to furnish the newly renovated LSU Military Museum.
LSU sacrificed our grandfather to atone for its own perceived racial failings via a public spectacle, but when it came to returning the Middleton Collection to our family as its rightful owners, LSU instead decided that Gen. Middleton wasn’t so bad after all. The irony, of course, should be lost on no one.
The Bible teaches us to beware those who speak with a forked tongue. That is the lesson our entire family has learned from LSU.
Dr. Troy H. Middleton III
Emily Middleton Serrano
Jerusha Stewart Farris
Bingham Middleton Stewart