The Ivy Coach Daily

June 27, 2020

Princeton Kicks Woodrow Wilson to the Curb

Princeton has made the long overdue decision to remove Woodrow Wilson’s name from its public policy school and from one of its residential colleges.

Princeton University has sung, “I know that I can’t take no more; It ain’t no lie; I want to see you out that door; Baby bye bye bye” to President Woodrow Wilson. Wilson, the 28th president of the United States who also served as the 13th president of Princeton, has long been a source of controversy at the Ivy League school. The university’s school of public policy as well as a residential college both bear his name, but his racist thinking and policies, have — to many — made him an inappropriate namesake for a school that so highly values diversity. In a historic announcement this week, the Princeton University Board of Trustees said that enough is enough: Wilson’s name will be removed from both its school of public policy and from the residential college.

As Bryan Pietsch reports for The New York Times in a piece entitled “Princeton Will Remove Woodrow Wilson’s Name From School,” “The university’s board of trustees found that 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’s president, Christopher L. Eisgruber, said in a statement. ’Wilson’s racism was significant and consequential even by the standards of his own time,’ Mr. Eisgruber said…Wilson had overseen the resegregation of federal government offices, including the Treasury Department. In a meeting in the Oval Office with the civil rights leader Monroe Trotter, Wilson said, ’Segregation is not humiliating, but a benefit, and ought to be so regarded by you gentlemen,’ according to a transcript of the meeting…The university’s trustees said in a statement that it had questioned whether it was appropriate to name a school for ’a racist who segregated the nation’s Civil Service after it had been integrated for decades.’”

We at Ivy Coach wholeheartedly salute the decision made by Princeton’s board to alas remove Woodrow Wilson’s name from its school of public policy and from a residential college (which will be renamed First College since it was the first of six residential colleges at Princeton). A university that values diversity must not just tell but also show. Removing a racist’s name from its cherished institutions is a good start. Bye bye bye, Woodrow Wilson!

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