Light & Verity

Calhoun College: a timeline

The steps that led to Calhoun becoming Hopper.

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June 17, 2015: Nine people are murdered in an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, by a white supremacist, leading to a reassessment of Confederate symbols throughout the country. The fact that Calhoun College is named for a prominent advocate of slavery is brought into the spotlight, though not for the first time: some students and faculty members had called for the college to be renamed on several occasions in recent decades.

June 29, 2015: A group of Yale law students launches an online petition to change the name of Calhoun College.

August 29, 2015: In his Freshman Address, President Peter Salovey ’86PhD calls for Yale to have a “difficult conversation” over whether to rename Calhoun. Over the next few months, opinions are solicited from students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

April 27, 2016: Salovey announces that the Calhoun name will be retained. The decision draws praise from some, but many students stage protests, and 396 Faculty of Arts and Sciences members write an open letter urging Salovey to reverse the decision.

June 3, 2016: Calhoun dining hall worker Corey Menafee deliberately breaks a stained-glass panel depicting slaves in a cotton field. He apologizes and resigns, then is rehired by Yale. Community activists begin regular demonstrations urging Yale to change the name.

August 1, 2016: Salovey announces the appointment of a Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming and suggests that the Calhoun decision might be revisited in the future once those principles are determined.

December 2, 2016: The report of the Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming is released. Salovey then asks three advisers to make a recommendation about the Calhoun name applying the new criteria.

January 13, 2017: The three advisers recommend changing the name.

February 10, 2017: Salovey announces that Calhoun will become Grace Murray Hopper College.

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