Yale University has decided to rename its Calhoun College residency, heeding the advice of a three-person panel, two of whose members were professors who had signed a petition to rename the previous spring.
Calhoun’s name will be replaced with the name of technology innovator Grace Murray Hopper.
The decision, as reported by The Washington Post, effectively reverses one made last April, when Yale chose to retain the name of Calhoun College, but change the title of “master” – used to refer to the faculty leaders of residential colleges – to “head of college.”
“Ours is a nation that often refuses to face its own history of slavery and racism. Yale is part of that history,” said Yale President Peter Salovey last spring. “We cannot erase American history but we can confront it, teach it, and learn from it. The decision to retain Calhoun College’s name reflects the importance of this vital educational imperative.”
But, as reported by the Yale Daily News, Salovey revisited the decision in December and created a three-person panel to reconsider the residential college’s names. The panel consisted of history professor John Gaddis and English/African American studies professor Jacqueline Goldsby – both of whom signed the petition to rename the building last spring – as well as Calhoun alumnus G. Leonard Baker.
“I think we can make this change without effacing history,” said the president regarding the new decision. We’re not removing evidence of John C. Calhoun from our campus.”
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