Yale to Rename Calhoun College After Protests Over Slavery Ties

Kathryn Donohew Photography / Contributor via Getty Images(NEW HAVEN, Conn.) -- Yale University has voted to change the controversial name of a residential college after years of backlash and protests against it.

Calhoun College was originally named after 1804 Yale graduate and former U.S. Vice President John C. Calhoun, but critics believed the college should not honor Calhoun because the alumnus was a strong advocate for slavery.

The ivy league announced Saturday the college would be renamed to honor alumnus Grace Murray Hopper, a U.S. Navy Rear admiral and computer pioneer who received her Ph.D. in mathematics and mathematical physics at Yale in 1934.

“The decision to change a college’s name is not one we take lightly, but John C. Calhoun’s legacy as a white supremacist and a national leader who passionately promoted slavery as a ‘positive good’ fundamentally conflicts with Yale’s mission and values,” Yale President Peter Salovey said in a statement.

News of the change comes after Salovey said in April that Calhoun College would keep its name because "at the time, as now, I was committed to confronting, not erasing, our history."

The president said changing the college's name to honor Hopper was a popular suggestion.

"Hopper’s name was mentioned by more individuals than any other, reflecting the strong feeling within our community that her achievements and life of service reflect Yale’s mission and core values," Salovey said in a statement.

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