Home>Governor>Murphy gives up Woodrow Wilson’s desk

Gov. Phil Murphy observes a moment of silence in honor of the life of George Floyd at his desk in the Office of the Governor on June 4, 2020. Murphy's desk is the one Woodrow Wilson used while serving as governor from 1911 to 1913.

Murphy gives up Woodrow Wilson’s desk

Spokesman says Murphy no longer using desk Wilson used as governor from 1911 to 1913

By David Wildstein, June 27 2020 1:15 pm

Gov. Phil Murphy is no longer using the desk Woodrow Wilson used when he was governor of New Jersey.

“The governor has a new desk as of Friday,” Mahen Gunaratna, Murphy’s communications director told the New Jersey Globe.

The decision to give up Wilson’s desk came as Princeton University trustees voted to remove the former college president’s name from the School of Public and International Affairs and Wilson College.

Murphy is an ex-officio member of the Princeton Board of Trustees, but it’s not immediately clear whether he participated in the discussion at the board meeting on Friday.

Murphy acknowledged Wilson’s troubled history on race earlier this month, acknowledging his “uneven history as it relates to race.”

A photo of Murphy taking a moment of silence for the death of George Floyd’s death from behind Wilson’s desk was posted to the governor’s Twitter page.

On Monday, Murphy suggested that he would stop using the desk.

“It’s the only desk I’ve got, but that’s something that I will have to deal with. There’s no question on that,” Murphy said. “I don’t have an alternative at the moment, but I respect what’s gone on elsewhere.”

Last week, Monmouth University announced that they were also removing Wilson’s name from one of the their buildings.

The move to remove tributes to Wilson come at a time when race relations has become a major national issue.

“If there are statues, symbols that are offensive to folks, we have to have a reckoning with that,” Murphy said this week  in response to a question about statues of Christopher Columbus.

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