Calhoun Residential College at Yale University has been in the news a great deal lately. The college was established in 1932 in honor of John C. Calhoun, who graduated from Yale University in 1804. He went on to become vice president of the United States, serving under both John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. A native of South Carolina, Calhoun was a major defender of the institution of slavery.
Now the university has announced that the dining hall at Calhoun Residential College will be renamed to honor Roosevelt L. Thompson. A resident of Calhoun College, Thompson was killed in an automobile accident during his senior year at Yale, after he had been selected as a Rhodes Scholar to study at Oxford University.
A documentary film on Roosevelt Thompson was produced by PBS. A trailer for that documentary can be viewed below:
As Yale University continues to debate the legacy of John C. Calhoun, an alumnus and leading 19th–century politician and slaveholder for whom one of its residential colleges is named, the university said on Tuesday that it would not press charges in the case of a black dining hall worker who smashed a stained-glass panel depicting slaves carrying cotton.
John C. Calhoun graduated from Yale University in 1804. He went on to become vice president of the United States, serving under both John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. A native of South Carolina, Calhoun was a major defender of the institution of slavery.
A residential college at Yale was named in Calhoun’s honor in 1932. Since that time a portrait of Calhoun has hung over the fireplace in the dining room of the residential college. Two other portraits of Calhoun were placed in the living quarters of the master of the college.
Now all three portraits have been taken down and the university is considering whether the name of Calhoun College should be maintained. The decision to remove the portraits was made by Julia Adams, master of Calhoun College and a professor of sociology at Yale. Adams also stated that a ceremonial mace that was once owned by Calhoun will no longer be used during ceremonial occasions at the college.