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Calhoun College Yale Renamed After Slavery Flap

Image: Calhoun College Yale Renamed After Slavery Flap

Calhoun College, on the campus of Yale University, in New Haven, Connecticut. (Jon Bilous/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Monday, 13 Feb 2017 08:28 AM

Calhoun College at Yale University was renamed last week after a slavery flap that was reignited after the 2015 shooting death in a South Carolina church that left nine African-American churchgoers dead.

The College had been named after Yale graduate John C. Calhoun, who served as vice president of the United States under John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. Proponents of the name change charged that the South Carolina native, who graduated from Yale in 1804, was a white supremacist who had called slavery "a good positive" for blacks, the New Haven Register reported.

The name controversy had popped up in the past but gained staying power when Dylann Roof killed nine black people at a Charleston, South Carolina church, the Register noted. In January, Roof was sentenced to death in federal court for the shootings, CNN noted.

A groundswell of protests led to Yale appointing a three-member committee to establish rules for renaming buildings. That committee recommended that Calhoun's name be taken off the building, according to the Register.

Yale's board of trustees, known as the Yale Corporation, agreed to rename the college after graduate and Navy veteran Grace Murray Hopper. Hopper, who died in 1992, was on the team that developed the first computer language, "compiler," in 1952 and was instrumental in creating word-based computer languages, including COBOL, according to a statement from Yale.

The decision reverse's a statement made last April by Yale President Peter Salovey that the college would continue to be named after Calhoun.

"At that time, as now, I was committed to confronting, not erasing, our history," Salovey said in his statement. "I was concerned about inviting a series of name changes that would obscure Yale's past.

"These concerns remain paramount, but we have since established an enduring set of principles that address them. The principles establish a strong presumption against renaming buildings, ensure respect for our past, and enable thoughtful review of any future requests for change."

Calhoun College, one of 12 of Yale's residential colleges, was established in 1933 and was renovated in 2007, according to the university. It houses more than 400 undergraduate residents.

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Calhoun College at Yale University was renamed last week after a slavery flap that was reignited after the 2015 shooting death in a South Carolina church that left nine African-American churchgoers dead.
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2017-28-13
Monday, 13 Feb 2017 08:28 AM
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