Princeton May Dump Woodrow Wilson's Name

School will review his legacy after students call him racist
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 20, 2015 12:03 PM CST
Princeton May Dump Woodrow Wilson's Name
Students gather inside Nassau Hall during a sit-in, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, in Princeton, NJ.   (Julio Cortez)

Princeton University has agreed to look into the legacy of alumnus and former US President Woodrow Wilson after a group of students staged a sit-in to protest his views on race and segregation. That resolution comes after university President Christopher Eisgruber and two other school officials signed an agreement late Thursday with the Black Justice League to end the 32-hour sit-in. The university said 17 students signed the agreement. "We appreciate the willingness of the students to work with us to find a way forward for them, for us, and for our community," Eisgruber said. "We were able to assure them that their concerns would be raised and considered through appropriate processes."

Wilson—who graduated from Princeton and was president of the school from 1902 to 1910—was a leading progressive but supported segregation and appointed Cabinet members who segregated federal departments. The protesters, both black and white, wanted the school to acknowledge what they say is the racist legacy of Wilson and to rename the buildings and programs named for him, including the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy and International Affairs. They also want the school to take down a mural of Wilson in a dining hall. The agreement says Eisgruber will email the head of the board of trustees to begin conversations about Wilson's legacy, while the board will collect information on the "campus community's" opinion. (More Woodrow Wilson stories.)

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