Yale University is renaming one of its residential colleges, removing the name of a staunch supporter of slavery and replacing it with the name of a groundbreaking female computer scientist, according to USA Today.
The college, which was built in the 1930s, was named after prominent slave owner John C. Calhoun. Calhoun graduated from Yale in 1804 and went on to serve in several government positions, including as vice president under John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. He vehemently opposed the abolition of slavery, once calling the institution "a positive good."
Obviously, many students didn't like having to live in a building named for a guy who believed people of color were less human than white people. so now the college will be renamed after Grace Murray Hopper, a renowned computer scientist who earned both her master's and PhD from Yale in the 1930 and 1934. She has an annual conference for women and computing named after her.
Protests broke out over the name in 2015, after the mass shooting in Charleston, according to USA Today. But the name has been controversial for decades.
Yale University president Peter Salovey insisted in April that he wouldn't change the name. But in August, he created the Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming, which considered questions of when renaming would be appropriate.
“At that time, as now, I was committed to confronting, not erasing, our history. I was concerned about inviting a series of name changes that would obscure Yale’s past,” Salovey wrote in a post on Yale’s website.
— Clifford Levy (@cliffordlevy) February 11, 2017
The university’s board of trustees voted to change the college’s name from Calhoun to Hopper on Friday, and students started celebrating immediately. They taped over Calhoun’s name on a sign for the college, writing Hopper’s name on the tape. And they also added another piece of tape to the bottom of the sign, saying, “Victory!!” It feels good to make change happen.