Connecticut’s Yale to Change Name of Residential College
Yale University in New Haven is one of several educational institutions that have been under pressure to separate from anything to do with racism.
YaleNews.com reports that Calhoun College -- one of Yale's undergraduate colleges -- was named to honor John C. Calhoun, who was vice president to both John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. Calhoun graduated from Yale College in 1804. The name stood for 86 years, but protesters have pressured the Ivy League School to take away any reverence to a graduate who was an advocate of slavery in the United States. In a statement to YaleNews.com, Yale President Peter Salovey said:
Unlike other namesakes on our campus, he distinguished himself not in spite of these views but because of them.
Salovey also said that after meeting with Yale’s board of trustees, the name change was confirmed:
Yale has changed magnificently over the past 300 years and will continue to evolve long after our time; today we have the opportunity to move the university forward in a way that reinforces our mission and core values.
Calhoun College will be renamed for 1934 alumnus, Grace Murray Hopper, who received a PhD in mathematics and mathematical physics. Hopper served as a rear admiral in the United States Navy.
Yale President Peter Salovey adds:
She (Hopper) was an exemplar of achievement in her field and service to her country. As we considered potential namesakes, the trustees and I benefited from hundreds of unique naming suggestions made by alumni, faculty, students, and staff who either advocated for a name change to this college or submitted ideas for the names of the two new residential colleges. This community input was indispensable: Hopper’s name was mentioned by more individuals than any other, reflecting the strong feeling within our community that her achievements and life of service reflect Yale’s mission and core values.
Hundreds of suggestions for an alternate name for the college came from from faculty, alumni, students and staff which made the choice to honor Hopper quite clear. Grace Murray Hopper's name was mentioned more than any other. However, Calhoun's legacy will not be removed from other parts of the campus. Salovey stated:
In making this change, we must be vigilant not to erase the past. To that end, we will not remove symbols of Calhoun from elsewhere on our campus, and we will develop a plan to memorialize the fact that Calhoun was a residential college name for 86 years. Furthermore, alumni of the college may continue to associate themselves with the name Calhoun College or they may choose to claim Grace Hopper College as their own."
It is now up to the dean of Yale College, Jonathan Holloway, and the head of Calhoun College, Julia Adams, to complete the process of the name change.