Today I write to announce that the name of (one of Yale's undergraduate colleges) Calhoun College will be changed, and that we will honor one of Yale’s most distinguished graduates, Grace Murray Hopper ’30 M.A., ’34 Ph.D., by renaming the college for her....The decision to change a college’s name is not one we take lightly, but John C. Calhoun’s legacy as a white supremacist and a national leader who passionately promoted slavery as a “positive good” fundamentally conflicts with Yale’s mission and values.
When he learned of Calhoun’s death in 1832, Benjamin Silliman Sr. 1796 B.A., 1799 M.A., professor of chemistry at Yale and the namesake of another Yale residential college, mourned the passing of his contemporary while immediately condemning his legacy:
“[Calhoun] in a great measure changed the state of opinion and the manner of speaking and writing upon this subject in the South, until we have come to present to the world the mortifying and disgraceful spectacle of a great republic—and the only real republic in the world—standing forth in vindication of slavery, without prospect of, or wish for, its extinction. If the views of Mr. Calhoun, and of those who think with him, are to prevail, slavery is to be sustained on this great continent forever.”
The recipient of Yale’s Wilbur Lucius Cross Medal, the National Medal of Technology, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, “Amazing Grace” Hopper was a visionary in the world of technology. At a time when computers were bulky machines limited to a handful of research laboratories, Hopper understood that they would one day be ubiquitous, and she dedicated her long career to ensuring they were useful, accessible, and responsive to human needs.
An extraordinary mathematician and a senior US naval officer, Grace Murray Hopper achieved eminence in fields historically dominated by men.
Today, her principal legacy is all around us—embodied in the life-enhancing technology she knew would become commonplace. Grace Murray Hopper College thus honors her spirit of innovation and public service while looking fearlessly to the future.
At VeraCloud we celebrate Yale's recognition of this early female STEM pioneer. Our mission is to tangibly advance progress on critical marketplace issues that include diversity, access, financial inclusion, economic opportunity, and ongoing public/private sector support for all diverse populations across the US. This includes building a better future for women and girls in STEM and all industries.
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, female employees fill fewer than 25% of STEM jobs — even though they make up nearly half of the overall workforce. In the startup world, just 5% of women head up their own companies.
There is much work to be done. #BeFearless #GetInTheArena