Princeton Will Keep Woodrow Wilson’s Name on School and Dorm

The school of public affairs at Princeton University, as well as an undergraduate residential college, will continue to bear Woodrow Wilson’s name, the university’s Board of Trustees announced in a statement on Monday.

But the university “must be ‘honest and forthcoming about its history,’” says the statement, quoting from a report on the issue, “and transparent ‘in recognizing Wilson’s failings and shortcomings as well as the visions and achievements that led to the naming of the school and the college in the first place.’”

A committee of trustees has met nine times since December and made recommendations for an “expanded and more vigorous commitment to diversity and inclusion at Princeton,” the statement says.

The committee recommended, among other things, that the university:

  • Encourage more underrepresented-minority students to pursue doctoral degrees.
  • Begin new initiatives to bring attention to facets of the university’s history that have been overlooked, including a more “multifaceted” representation of Wilson.
  • Display more-diverse campus art and iconography.
  • Change the university’s informal motto from “Princeton in the nation’s service and the service of all nations,” which derives from an 1896 speech by Wilson, to “Princeton in the nation’s service and the service of humanity.”

Student protesters, citing Wilson’s racist views, called for the removal of his name from buildings on the campus in November, when they occupied the office of President Christopher L. Eisgruber.

For more, see this Chronicle article.

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