Special Reports

Rutgers, Georgetown And UM, Among Universities That Have Historical Ties To Slavery


Yale University made headlines this week after it announced that it will be changing the name of Calhoun College because of John C. Calhoun's ties to slavery and his legacy as a white supremacist. The Ivy League institution confirmed that it will honor Grace Murray Hopper, one of its most distinguished graduates, instead.

Last year, Yale faced backlash for confirming to keep the name of Calhoun College. In September, it hosted a discussion on naming controversies and created the Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming.

Yale President Peter Salovey admitted that he has asked Jonathan Holloway, dean of Yale College, and Julia Adams, the head of Calhoun College, to confirm when the change can be implemented. The change appears to override his decision last year to keep the name of Calhoun College but Salovey revealed that he was committed to "confronting, not erasing" the school's history.

USA Today College reported that other universities and colleges have also addressed their historical ties to slavery and white supremacy. This includes Rutgers University, Georgetown University and the University of Maryland, among others.

Earlier this month, Rutgers University has renamed its College Avenue Apartments after former slaves. This includes Sojourner Truth, an abolitionist and women's rights activist, who was a former slave who was owned as a young girl by the family of Rutgers' first president Jacob Hardenbergh.

Georgetown University has also acknowledged its historical ties to slavery and has sought to make amends for the injustice that it may have participated in. In September, university president John DeGiola announced that the school will be providing legacy admissions advantages to the descendants of the 272 slaves who were sold to Louisiana plantations in 1838 to fund the university.

The University of Maryland's board of regents voted in favor of renaming Byrd Stadium back in 2015. The building was named after alumnus Harry Clifton Byrd, who was known for being a segregationist. It has now been named as Maryland Stadium.

Other universities that have renamed buildings in their campuses that had historical ties to slavery are the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, Vanderbilt University, Brown University, Winthop University, Clemson University, University of Alabama and University of Mississippi.

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