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Yale University to Rename College Tied to White Supremacist and Slavery Defender

Calhoun College part of Yale University built in 1933, in collegiate gothic style architecture.Calhoun College part of Yale University built in 1933, in collegiate gothic style architecture.
Calhoun College part of Yale University built in 1933, in collegiate gothic style architecture.Kathryn Donohew Photography—Moment Editorial/Getty Images

Yale University said on Saturday that it will change the name of Calhoun College, replacing the honor given to an alumnus who defended slavery for Grace Murray Hopper, a trailblazing mathematician and computer scientist who received a PhD from the Ivy League school 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 about Calhoun, who served as vice president under John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson.

The decision to rename the residential college to Grace Murray Hopper College reverses one made in 2016. Following protests over racial issues on campus, Yale said it would keep the name as it would encourage the campus to confront the history of slavery, Reuters‘ reports. The latest decision came after a meeting of the university’s board of trustees.

Hopper’s name will be added to the building at the beginning of the next academic year, Washington Post reports. But they won’t chisel the name “Calhoun” off from the building or remove other references to him on campus.