Yale University to rename Calhoun College amid controversy over Slavery

Calhoun College, one of the residential colleges under Yale University, will be renamed to honor Yale alumni Grace Murray Hooper

Yale University, Wikimedia

Washington, Feb 12, 2017: Yale University will rename one of its residential colleges, replacing the name of an alumnus remembered as an advocate of slavery with that of an alumna who was a pioneering mathematician and computer scientist, the media reported.

Calhoun College will be renamed to honour Grace Murray Hopper, who helped transform the way people use technology, the BBC reported.

Hopper earned Yale degrees in the 1930s and became a US Navy rear admiral.

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The Ivy League university on Saturday said the move ends the controversy over the former politician and defender of slavery John C. Calhoun, whose legacy led to campus protests in 2015.

Calhoun, a member of the Yale class of 1804, was a senator from South Carolina and a leading voice for those opposed to abolishing slavery. He served as Vice-President from 1825 to 1832.

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“The minute that the announcement came out, people stuck their heads out of the window and yelled ‘Wahoo!'” Julia Adams, a sociology professor who is head of the just-renamed Grace Murray Hopper College, said on Saturday.

The decision to rename Calhoun College reverses one made last year, when Yale President Peter Salovey said he did not want to erase history, but confront it and learn from it, The Washington Post reported.

By the beginning of the next academic year, the name of alumna Grace Murray Hopper will be added to the building, and the residential college will be known by that name.

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Students’ T-shirts will have the Hopper name.

However, the university will not chisel off the “Calhoun” or remove other traces of the name on campus. (IANS)