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Yale Reverses Course, Will Change The Name of Calhoun College

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Yale University has reversed course and announced that it will change the name of Calhoun College. This follows protests at the Ivy League campus over names and symbols related to slavery and oppression.

University President Peter Salovey told reporters that the decision to rename a building at Yale is exceptionally rare.

"But John C. Calhoun, white supremacist, ardent defender of slavery as a positive good -- his legacy only hardened over the course of his life," Salovey said.

This overrides last year’s decision to keep the name.

Salovey said he’s concerned that Yale not erase history, "especially history that might embarrass us, especially history in which there was university involvement. I believe that we have to confront that history and learn from it."

Calhoun College will be renamed in honor of Grace Murray Hopper, a pioneering computer scientist in the 1930s and a career Naval officer.

Diane Orson is a special correspondent with Connecticut Public. She is a longtime reporter and contributor to National Public Radio. Her stories have been heard on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition and Here And Now. Diane spent seven years as CT Public Radio's local host for Morning Edition.

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