Yale University Renames One Of Its Colleges After A Female ScientistBy Chris Brandt
Yale University has decided to change one of the name of its colleges from that of pro-slavery politician to that of a female scientist. The decision to rename the college was announced last Saturday.
Yale University president Peter Salovey announced the university's decision last Saturday to take the name of former vice-president John C. Calhoun and rename it to Hopper College after scientist Mary Grace Hopper.
Both Calhoun and Hopper are Yale alumni with Calhoun graduating from the institution in 1804 while Hopper earned her master's and doctor's degree at Yale graduating in 1934.
Salovey said the decision to rename Calhoun College was not something that was not thoughtlessly decided upon by the board of trustees. He also added that he didn't want to obscure Yale's past but rather, to confront it. However, retaining the name of the pro-slavery politician defeats the mission of the university.
Calhoun, was the vice-president of the United States between 1825 and 1832. During that time, he advocated slavery saying it was a 'positive good.' When the institution decided to name the college after Calhoun in 1931, many black students who were enrolled in the university strongly opposed and protested the decision.
Hopper, on the other hand, was one of Yale's most remarkable alumni. She joined the United States Navy in World War II and was tasked to program the Mark I computer. SShe pursued computing even after the war and was one of the team that produced the proponent of the COBOL programming language. She retired from the US Navy in 1986 at the age of 60 as a rear admiral.
Despite the decision to change the name of the college, Yale officials said that they will not remove any statues or carvings that bear the name of Calhoun. They also added that those who still want to use the name when referring to the college are free to do so.