10.6 C
Johannesburg
Sunday, July 12, 2020
- Advertisement -

Princeton To Remove President Woodrow Wilson’s Name From Public Policy School

PRINCETON University will remove Woodrow Wilson’s name from its public policy school over “racist thinking and policies” the former president had championed, the university says.

The university’s Board of Trustees approved the name change on Friday. In a letter, trustees said long-standing questions over Wilson’s history of supporting segregationist policies were “made more urgent” by the recent high-profile killings of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks.

Trustees noted that Wilson infamously segregated the nation’s civil service after decades of racial integration. That legacy, trustees concluded, was not befitting a school geared toward public service.

“We have taken this extraordinary step because we believe that Wilson’s racist thinking and policies make him an inappropriate namesake for a school whose scholars, students, and alumni must be firmly committed to combatting the scourge of racism in all its forms,” the board said.

The school will be renamed the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, and the residential Woodrow Wilson College will be renamed First College, Princeton said.

Wilson had a long history with Princeton. He obtained his undergraduate degree from the university in 1879 and returned in 1890 as a professor, teaching for 12 years before becoming the university’s president in 1902.

Princeton appended Wilson’s name to the School of Public and International Affairs in 1948 when it added a graduate program. In addition to the public policy school and residential college, a prestigious alumni award also bears Wilson’s name.

Trustees say Wilson’s name will remain on the alumni award however, because it was endowed by a gift that came with a “legal obligation to name the prize for Wilson.”

Alongside the veneration have also been concerns by students over Wilson’s prominence on campus. In 2015, students protested, occupying the president’s office. In response, the trustees assembled a special committee to review concerns over Wilson’s legacy and provide recommendations.

The committee recommended that the school keep the 28th president’s name on both schools, even as it acknowledged that “Wilson indisputably opposed the idea of admitting black students to the Princeton of his time.”

But as anti-racist protests surged across the nation, the celebration of Wilson’s legacy at Princeton was one more longstanding debate to re-enter the spotlight.

Students of the public policy school recently sent a letter, dated June 22, demanding, among other things, a name change.

“If Princeton saw fit to change the name of the School of Public and International Affairs in 1948 to reflect the politics of the mid-century United States, then it is time to change the name once again, over sixty years later, to reflect the morals and principles of our institutional identity in 2020,” the letter read.

(Compiled by NPR)

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Related articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest articles

City of Joburg Tables R68bn Budget After A Week Of Drama

THEBE MABANGA   AMID technological chaos, banter and procedural missteps, the City of Johannesburg (COJ) succeeded in passing its...

Motshekga Condemns Rape Of 12-Year-Old KwaZulu Natal Learner

NYAKALLO TEFUBASIC Education Minister Angie Motshekga has condemned the rape of a 12-year-old learner in KwaZulu Natal. The learner...

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize Says Eastern Cape COVID-19 Scooters Are Not Suitable Ambulances

EASTERN Cape scooter ambulances don't meet the basic criteria for patient transport as an ambulance. This was the response...

EUSA Commends Educators In Phoenix, KZN, For Closing Down Schools Due To COVID-10 Concerns

NYAKALLO TEFU THE Educators' Union of South Africa has expressed support for the decision taken by the school governing bodies...

Plans To Reopen Some Schools In Limpopo Thrown Into Disarray Amid Water And Sanitation Chaos

MASHUDU SADIKE WHILE some schools in Limpopo resumed to a smooth on Monday, most were left without toilets and...