Yale renames Calhoun College for Grace Hopper

Rich Alderson RichA at livingcomputers.org
Tue Feb 14 13:31:44 CST 2017

From: william degnan
Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 8:16 AM

> On Tue, Feb 14, 2017 at 11:12 AM, Chuck Guzis <cclist at sydex.com> wrote:

>> Grace Hopper (if you've ever followed CODASYL or the COBOL language was
>> a very sharp lady who's long had my admiration.  Kudos to Yale!

>> http://news.yale.edu/2017/02/11/yale-change-calhoun-
>> college-s-name-honor-grace-murray-hopper-0

> that's fine, but the reasoning was totally political and narrow minded.

Since you've chosen to inject a political statement into the list, I will
point out that the naming of Calhoun College (which at Yale means "dormitory +
refectory + student workshops") has been a topic of debate for decades, since
before I was at the Graduate School 40+ years ago.  It wasn't a broadly noted
discussion, because it was mostly internal to students living in the college.
(I had an undergraduate friend who resided there.)

The student body at Yale has become much more diverse in the last decade, so
an old discussion took on more importance in the wider world.  The decision
to rename the college was taken after input from alumni as well as current
students, beginning more than a year ago.  Given the reputation of Yale, and
of the Ivy League in general, as a bastion of conservatism, I was genuinely
surprised with the overwhelming support for changing the name.  Once that was
decided, a long process of nominations was set in motion, comments solicited
from the Yale community, and I am quite pleased with the decision to rename
the college for a brilliant scholar who earned her master's and doctoral
degrees in the Graduate School.

So I dispute your characterization of the reasoning as narrow minded, or as
political in the sense you most probably mean.  Not everything that happens
has to do with current events.

Richard M. Alderson, III
A. M. (Linguistics), Yale 1977

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