As has become tradition when fellow universities diminish the role of pro-slavery alumni, this board would like to thank the administrators at Yale University for renaming its Calhoun College. The college will now be named in honor of Grace Murray Hopper, a computer scientist and rear admiral in the Navy.
The college’s original namesake, John C. Calhoun, served as vice president in the tumultuous Jackson administration, and he was also a white supremacist and a supporter of slavery — not a great person by most accounts. The college will be better served with Hopper as its namesake.
Let’s use the victory at Yale as inspiration to continue the fight here at UNC. While Carolina Hall is certainly better than the building’s previous name, the University still fails to recognize Zora Neale Hurston’s contributions, even if brief, to our school’s legacy.
Secondly, Silent Sam still stands tall and glorified in McCorkle Place.
Yes, the political situation at Yale is largely different than at UNC, but that isn’t an excuse. We are still in the beginning of a 16-year moratorium on renaming, but through continued activism, we can continue to pressure the Board of Trustees to reverse their decision.
We are seeing success at colleges across the country. If we allow these challenges to keep us from finally establishing Hurston Hall or removing Silent Sam, then the restrictions placed by the BOT and state legislator accomplished their purposes.