An alumnus speaks

I am pleasantly surprised to see Yale take the bold step of correcting an ugly wrong. The renaming of Calhoun College should be applauded by all. Although I know little about Grace Murray Hopper GRD ’34, I do know a great deal about John C. Calhoun, class of 1804. I do not need a college named after him to learn who he was. Needless to say, I found it abhorrent to memorialize Sen. Calhoun.

Personally, I would have preferred Yale to have chosen the name Thompson College in memory of Roosevelt Thompson ‘84. Rosey was an extraordinary student who died his senior year in an automobile accident right after being named a Rhodes Scholar. Rosey was a student in Hopper College (that really was fun to write!) and an example to many. But kudos to Yale because this past fall, Hopper College named her dining hall after Rosey.

I also saw that Geraldo Rivera resigned from Hopper College. Although my first reaction was one of shock that he was an associate fellow, I disagree with Mr. Rivera’s claim that removing Calhoun’s name “obscures the legacy of slavery rather than address[es] it.” Unless Yale dissolved its History Department, I doubt slavery will no longer be discussed on the campus. However, I think it is marvelous that people might actually talk about the role Rear Adm. Hopper played in the development of computer science and the advancement of technology.

Slade Mead ‘84