Princeton University to remove late US Prez’s name

Washington, June 28 (IANS) The prestigious Princeton University will remove the name of late US President Woodrow Wilson’s from its public policy school and a residential college since his “racist views and policies make him an inappropriate namesake”, it was announced.

The Princeton University Board of Trustees voted on Friday to remove the name, Xinhua news agency reported.

The school will be known as the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, while the college will simply be called First College.

“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,” Princeton President Christopher Eisgruber said in a letter on Saturday, noting the decision was on his recommendation.

“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.

“He not only acquiesced in but added to the persistent practice of racism in this country, a practice that continues to do harm today,” Eisgruber wrote.

The Princeton Board had previously considered removing Wilson’s name in 2016 months after a group of student activists occupied the university president’s office, Eisgruber noted.

However, Princeton will keep conferring the Woodrow Wilson Award as currently named, the Board said in a statement on Friday.

The award is the university’s highest honour for an undergraduate alumnus or alumna conferred annually on Alumni Day.

“Though scholars disagree about how to assess Wilson’s tenure as president of the US, many rank him among the nation’s greatest leaders and credit him with visionary ideas that shaped the world for the better,” the Princeton Board noted in the statement.

Wilson, a Democrat, served as President of Princeton University and as the 34th Governor of New Jersey before winning the 1912 presidential election.

He was the 28th US President from 1913 to 1921.

Earlier this week, trustees at New Jersey’s Monmouth University voted to remove Wilson’s name from its Great Hall.

–IANS

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