Yale University announced Saturday it is renaming one of its colleges that honors a former white supremacist politician and slave owner — reversing a decision last year to keep the moniker intact.
The Ivy League school’s president said Calhoun College would no longer be named after John C. Calhoun — America’s seventh vice president in the early 19th century — because racism was at the foundation of his political legacy. “As a national leader, Calhoun helped enshrine his racist views in American policy, transforming them into consequential actions,” Yale President Peter Salovey said in a statement. “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.”
Instead, the college is being renamed after alumnus Grace Murray Hopper, a pioneering computer scientist, mathematician and Navy rear admiral. The fight to rename Calhoun College has been a source of contention at the New Haven, Connecticut based school for years, pitting university leaders hesitant to gloss over the school’s racial history against students and community members who say the building and its namesake run counter to its core values.