Speed Reads

time for a change

Board of trustees votes to remove Woodrow Wilson's name from Princeton's campus

Former President Woodrow Wilson's name will be removed from Princeton University's campus, University President Christopher L. Eisgruber said in a letter to the Princeton community Saturday.

The decision to remove Wilson's name from the School of Public and International Affairs, as well the residential college, Wilson College, is the result of a Board of Trustees vote. Eisgruber said the board determined "Wilson's racist thinking and policies make him an inappropriate namesake for a school or college" that "must stand firmly against racism in all its forms."

The board had considered making the change in 2015, but opted to keep Wilson's namesake since he played a vital role in turning Princeton into a leading research university when he served as the university's president. However, recent nationwide protests against police brutality and systemic racism propelled the board to change that stance. Eisgruber wrote that while Prince did not honor Wilson because of his racist policies — which included segregating the federal civil service — as is often the case with historical figures like John C. Calhoun and Robert E. Lee, the university did so "without regard to or perhaps even in ignorance of" it. Read the full letter here.