As Yale’s upper administration deliberates on the names for our new residential colleges, I strongly encourage they consider our unstoppable force of nature on the football field, Tyler Varga ’15.
Sure, President Salovey may have quite clearly said that we would not name our college after a living donor. But Varga isn’t a donor, unless you count touchdowns as donations. And since when has a little opposition ever been an issue to Varga? He’s unstoppable.
Varga brought Yale through some of its harshest hours on the field, unified the student body in devotion to Yale’s success, and gave our friends in Cambridge a run for their money last Saturday. We may not have won this year, but Varga gave us hope.
Then we get to the question of the progressive potential for the college name – how can we improve the diversity of the people we recognize in such a profound manner? Well, Varga College would break down almost as many barriers as Tylar Varga breaks down Princeton men who stand in his way.
In the past, our residential colleges have been named after either locations or regular human beings. We don’t have a single college named after quasi-human beasts made of distilled thumotic rage. These beings have faced harsh discrimination ever since Achilles was forced to give up his spoils of war to Agamemnon. We can’t expect to end this mistreatment with a simple gesture, a name, but we can create a safer space for beasts with the capacity to tear men’s heads off.
And Varga College would also be one step by the university to stop all the colleges being named after dead white people. Varga isn’t a dead white man – he’s still filled with explosive vitality. Varga College would send the message that life is for the living, that we at Yale value excellence as a lifelong pursuit, and that a true Yale Man can establish his place in history through service to the school, not through profit margins.
I’ll leave you with one final question to consider as you think about the perfect college name: could Grace Hopper rack up 26 touchdowns and over 1,400 yards in one season?