Yale drops slavery proponent Calhoun from college name

Lucy Gellman

"The decision to change a college's name is not one we take lightly", Yale University President Peter Salovey wrote in an email to students.

Born in 1782, Calhoun was a SC congressman who went on to serve as USA secretary of war, the country's vice president, along with a brief stint as secretary of state.

Yale University announced on Saturday that it will change the name of a residential college that's named after alumnus and former Vice President John C. Calhoun.

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

The college will be renamed in tribute to Grace Murray Hopper, a groundbreaking computer programmer who died in 1992. But university leaders resisted demands to drop the Calhoun name.

"We have fought hard for the university to rename Calhoun and finally they stepped up to do the right thing. How do you contextualise the choice made in the 1930s and the choice it made ever since to keep it", Mr Rabb, an educator and state representative in Pennsylvania, told the AP.


New Haven police spokesman Officer David Hartman said in a release that those arrested, including two adult men and two adult women he did not name, are charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct. In 1931, it was named after John C. Calhoun, the seventh vice president of the United States, a Yale graduate and a hard-line slavery supporter.

The legacy of Calhoun, who graduated from Yale in 1804 and 1822 and served as a USA vice president, secretary of state, secretary of war and senator, becoming an influential champion of slavery, had been debated at the school over the years.

In soliciting suggestions for a new honoree for the college, Hopper was the most frequently requested Yale graduate, the school said.

In addition to serving as vice president, Calhoun was also a secretary of state, secretary of war and a USA senator.

In Calhoun College last summer, this controversial stained glass window depicting slaves picking cotton was smashed by a black Yale dining hall worker. Campus experts on art and history, as well as the University's public art committee, will work to contextualize these remaining Calhoun relics, the officials said. In 1930, Hopper had received a master's degree in mathematics and a PhD in mathematical physics and mathematics in 1934. Grace Hopper pioneered the development of word-based computer languages, and she was instrumental in developing COBOL, the most widely used computer language in the world by the 1970's. She was honored many times, including posthumously with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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