Women’s College Removes Former President’s Name From Library Due To History Of Antisemitism, ‘White Supremacy’

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Kate Anderson Contributor
Font Size:

An all-women’s college in Pennsylvania is removing the name of one of its former presidents from the library to “address systemic issues of racial bias” and antisemitism on campus, according to a Tuesday statement.

Bryn Mawr College (BMC) named its campus library after former president M. Carey Thomas in 1907 to memorialize her contributions to education, specifically for women, according to the statement. The college later revealed in 2017 that they were considering removing Thomas’ name due to concerns about her beliefs in racial superiority and antisemitism, and announced Tuesday that BMC had officially removed all mentions of the former college president’s name. (RELATED: ‘Targeted And Unsafe’: Universities Across The Country Are Holding ‘Israel Apartheid Week’)

“Thomas’s passing away elicited tributes from leaders of educational institutions across the U.S., who recognized and praised her significant national impact on higher education for women at both the graduate and undergraduate levels,” the statement read. “However, naming this building after Thomas also functioned as an act of historical erasure. It silenced and erased the experiences of those who had been affected negatively by the racist and anti-Semitic policies that Thomas promulgated as College president and her active, public embrace of eugenics.”

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 22: The book is one of many donated by Ms. Yale Wood who left her collection of several thousand children’s books to her former school, Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, and her collection “which relates to Dick Whittington and his cat” to Guildhall Library. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Thomas, while a serious advocate for women’s rights during the suffrage movement, also denied admission to black applicants and refused to hire Jewish faculty, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. During a speech to the 1916 BMC freshman class, Thomas said that she wanted the “supremacy of the white race” to be maintained and believed that educating white women would be the key to accomplishing that goal.

After the 2017 Charlottesville riots, BMC began examining its history of racism and discrimination, according to the statement. In 2018 a committee was formed to look into potentially renaming the library, which was eventually finalized in 2019, and as of Tuesday, the school had officially removed all mentions of Thomas from the library.

“Bryn Mawr now seeks to provide the College community with opportunities for engagement, reflection, and healing and to contribute to efforts to address systemic issues of racial bias on campus,” the statement read. “The acknowledgment of acts of erasure and Thomas’s history are key steps in a larger process of articulating and embracing a fuller sense of the College’s past.”

BMC did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.