Likins: change Marley building name
The UA's continuous struggle to find funding for its construction endeavors has often led the Regents and university fund-raisers to seek out private donations from multimillionaires.
Because of a $115 million donation from media mogul James E. Rogers, we have the James E. Rogers College of Law. Other examples include the Ina E. Gittings, Forbes and McClelland buildings.
Today, students and faculty will have a small celebration outside the McClelland building in honor of billboard magnate Karl Eller's $10 million donation and the renaming of the College of Business and Public Administration.
Naming buildings after philanthropists is a nice way to express gratitude for their generous gifts.
But it's an unacceptable atrocity when the structure is named for an alleged murderer and thief.
Despite strenuous objections from journalists, educators and Tucsonans, former UA President Manuel Pacheco in 1992 took $6 million from the late Kemper Marley's family foundation to complete the Agriculture building on East Fourth Street now known as the Marley building.
While he was never formally charged, Kemper Marley was implicated in the 1976 car-bomb murder of Arizona Republic reporter Don Bolles.
Bolles, an investigative reporter known around the country for his work, was looking into Marley's mob ties and alleged land fraud schemes. When former Arizona Gov. Raul Castro nominated Marley for a coveted spot on the state Racing Commission, Bolles began digging.
What he found painted a poor picture of Kemper Marley.
In 1974, Marley was Castro's single-largest campaign contributor. In the 1940's, he was charged with grand theft for allegedly stealing a state-owned truck. Marley was also appointed to the Arizona State Fair Commission, where he was accused of financial mismanagement and nepotism.
And the controversy that resulted from Bolles' reports forced Marley in 1976 to resign from the Racing Commission, enraging the millionaire.
That rage appears to have cost Don Bolles his life.
The convicted killer, John Harvey Adamson, testified that Marley arranged for Bolles' killing, putting together a team of thugs and funding the car-bomb project. Phoenix attorney Neal Roberts, a friend and aide of Adamson, hinted at city police that the killing was "frontier justice" for Marley.
And despite all this information, Pacheco took the money and ran.
At the time, UA officials justified their decision by saying that the funding came from Marley's family, not Kemper himself.
The Agriculture department expressed little concern about Marley's alleged criminal activity and UA officials celebrated the Marley name, thanking his wife -Øwho adamantly refused to answer reporters' questions about the situation - for the generosity.
However, now that donations are flowing into the UA, it's time to end this travesty.
It's time for UA President Peter Likins to honor the memory of Don Bolles, return the $6 million and remove Kemper Marley's name from the building.
Find honorable UA alumni who have done well in the agriculture industry and petition them to give back to the university that gave them a start.
In 1992, $6 million was one of the largest donations in the UA's history. Now, that money can be reclaimed by the powerful lobbyists from the UA Foundation.
Remember Bolles by taking a stand for the First Amendment and telling the country that the UA will not accept donations from con men and murderers who try to stop the publication of news.
Marley's donation is tainted - stained by the blood of a dead reporter.
It's time for the UA to wash its hands of Kemper Marley.