The board of trustees at Princeton University voted Saturday to remove the name of Woodrow Wilson from the School of Public and International Affairs for the 28th president’s “racist thinking and policies.”
“Identifying a political leader as the namesake for a public policy school inevitably suggests that the honoree is a role model for those who study in the school. We must therefore ask whether it is acceptable for this University’s school of public affairs to bear the name of a racist who segregated the nation’s civil service after it had been integrated for decades,” the university’s board of trustees said in a statement.
The board said that the question was made “more urgent by the recent killings of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Rayshard Brooks.”
Their deaths, the board said, “have served as tragic reminders of the ongoing need for all of us to stand against racism and for equality and justice.”
Wilson, a Democrat who served as the president of Princeton in the early 1900s and then served as the president of the U.S. between 1913 and 1921, re-segregated federal government workers, reversing decades of integration.
Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber said in a statement Wilson’s segregationist policy took “America backward in its pursuit of justice.”
Student activists have protested the building’s name since 2015.
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SOURCE: ABC News, Ella Torres