Yale University Renames Controversial Calhoun College

Yale University held a dedication ceremony Tuesday afternoon for the Grace Hopper College several months after deciding to remove the controversial John C. Calhoun name.

Hopper earned her master’s and Ph.D. in mathematics from Yale in the 1930s.

"Admiral Hopper was at the vanguard of a new era at a time when opportunities for women especially in math and engineering were extremely limited," Yale President Peter Salovey said, “she charted a remarkable course.”

Hopper is recognized for her innovative contributions to computer programming.

"She made it possible for ordinary people to use computers," Salovey added. "Not just mathematicians and engineers."

She also proudly served in the United States Navy, enlisting after Pearl Harbor and later rising to the rank of rear admiral.

"As a teacher, mentor and distinguished naval officer," Salovey said. "She served others and her country with courage and dedication."

Admiral John Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations, said renaming the college after Hopper is the latest chapter in the Navy’s long relationship with the Ivy League university.

"What a terrific choice to name this college after Admiral Grace Hopper,” he said. "A renowned risk taker."

Back in February, Yale announced the removal of Calhoun’s name saying his legacy as a white supremacist and promoter of slavery is at odds with the university’s mission and values.

"How delightful that the confluence of talk argument and decision produced this excellent outcome and new beginning," said Julia Adams, head of Grace Hopper College.

A new beginning that honors a woman with a lasting legacy as a trailblazer.

"She would tell you if it’s a good idea go ahead and do it," Hopper’s nephew Roger Murray III said. "It is much easier to apologize than it is to get permission."

Hopper posthumously received a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016. She died at the age of 85 in 1992.

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