Yale renames Calhoun College over slavery ties
Yale University will change the name of Calhoun College, a residential college named for an ardent supporter of slavery, and replace that moniker with one honoring computer scientist Grace Murray Hopper.
University trustees, known as the Yale Corporation, voted in favor of the renaming on Friday, reversing a decision last year to keep the name. Keeping the name had been defended as a way to confront rather than paper over the legacy of slavery.
The change will go into effect in time for the 2017-2018 academic year.
“John C. Calhoun’s legacy as a white supremacist and a national leader who passionately promoted slavery as a ‘positive good’ fundamentally conflicts with Yale’s mission and values,” President Peter Salovey said in a message sent to the Yale community on Saturday. He said depictions in the college celebrating plantations and the Old South suggest that Calhoun was honored in part because of his support for slavery, not in spite of it.
Yale is among a number of colleges that have grappled with how to honor their histories without offending modern sensibilities. Vanderbilt University last year said it would pay $ 1.2 million to remove the word “Confederate” from a residence hall’s facade, while Princeton University said it would keep Woodrow Wilson’s name on its school of public and international affairs and a residential college, while increasing discussion of the former president’s support of segregation.
An expanded version of this article appeared at WSJ.com .
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