Yale to Rename College Honoring White Supremacist

Calhoun College will now honor computer 'visionary' Grace Hopper
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2017 3:02 PM CST
Yale to Rename College Honoring White Supremacist
In this Aug. 14, 1986 file photo, Rear Admiral Grace Hopper is saluted by crew members aboard the USS Constitution, as she arrives for her retirement ceremony, in Boston, Mass. On Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, Yale University said it is renaming Calhoun College after her.   (AP Photo/Peter Southwick)

Yale University announced Saturday it will be renaming a residential college named for a former US vice president and virulent white supremacist, the Wall Street Journal reports. According to CBS News, John C. Calhoun graduated from Yale in 1804 and went on to become a South Carolina senator. Calhoun College was named in his honor in 1931, and Yale president Peter Salovey says there's evidence—such as stained-glass windows depicting scenes of slavery—that Calhoun was recognized as much for his vehement support of slavery as in spite of it. Despite ongoing demonstrations—protesters were being arrested as recently as Friday—Yale trustees voted to keep the name last April.

In a statement on the reversal of that decision, Salovey says Calhoun's values "fundamentally conflict" with those of Yale. Starting next fall, Calhoun College will be renamed for Grace Murray Hopper. The computer scientist and Yale graduate helped develop the COBOL computer language. She foresaw the future widespread use of computers, coined the word "bug" for computer glitches, and retired from the US Navy as a rear admiral at the age of 79, the New Haven Register reports. Hopper died in 1992 but received a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama. Salovey says she was a "visionary." Calhoun will not be entirely erased from Yale; a statue of him will remain elsewhere on campus. (More Yale University stories.)

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