Princeton University on Saturday announced it will remove former President Woodrow Wilson’s name from its public and international affairs school in the wake of nationwide protests against racism and police brutality.
“The trustees concluded that Woodrow Wilson’s racist thinking and policies make him an inappropriate namesake for a school or college whose scholars, students, and alumni must stand firmly against racism in all its forms,” said Christopher L. Eisgruber, Princeton’s president, in a statement Saturday.
Students had long called for the removal of the 28th president’s name from Princeton’s public affairs school. The Ivy League college’s board of trustees considered nixing Wilson’s name after student protests in 2015, Eisgruber said. But the recent killings of Black men and women prompted Princeton’s board to vote to remove Wilson’s name on Friday, he added.
Wilson, a Democrat who led Princeton in the early 1900s and served as U.S. president between 1913 and 1921, publicly advocated for and implemented racist policies, including resegregating federal government workers after they had been integrated for decades.
“Wilson’s racism was significant and consequential even by the standards of his own time,” Eisgruber said.
Princeton is the latest college to drop the name of a racist figure from a campus building or college in the wake of nationwide protests over racism.
The University of Southern California in mid-June scrubbed the name of Rufus B. von KleinSmid, a eugenics advocate, from its public affairs school. Last week, Monmouth University said it would remove Wilson’s name from a prominent campus building. And on Tuesday, the University of Oregon announced it would rename a building dedicated to a white settler who helped ban Black people from the Oregon territory.
The removal of Wilson’s name also comes as the country faces questions over memorials to Confederate generals, colonial figures and racist politicians. The Army is considering scrubbing the names of Confederate leaders from bases, and protesters have torn down monuments celebrating Confederates, slave owners and colonizers.
President Donald Trump on Friday signed an executive order calling on the Justice Department to prioritize jailing demonstrators who damage federal monuments.
Princeton is also fast-tracking the removal of Wilson's name from a residential college, Eisgruber said Saturday.
Source: Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories https://www.politico.com/news/2020/06/27/princeton-removes-woodrow-wilson-name-342130