Princeton to remove Woodrow Wilson's name from public policy school, local college due to "racist thinking"

by Bryan Brammer · Jun 29th, 2020 12:30 pm

Last Updated Jun 30th, 2020 at 12:51 am

Princeton University announced Saturday that it will be removing former President Woodrow Wilson's name from its public policy school and a local college due to his "racist thinking and policies," the university said in a statement.

The university's Board of Trustees voted on Friday to change the names of both the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and Wilson College, noting that the former president's "segregationist policies make him an especially inappropriate namesake."

"Wilson's racism was significant and consequential even by the standards of his own time. He segregated the federal civil service after it had been racially integrated for decades, thereby taking America backward in its pursuit of justice," said Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber. "When a university names a school of public policy for a political leader, it inevitably suggests that the honoree is a model for students who study at the school."

The public policy school will be renamed the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and Woodrow Wilson College will be renamed First College.

Trustees did say, however, that the former president's name will remain on a prestigious alumni award due to a "legal obligation to name the prize for Wilson" as it was endowed as a gift.


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