Many colleges are proud of their associations with American presidents. Columbia University, Occidental College, and Harvard University are proud of their association with President Obama. Harvard University and Princeton University are proud of their association with President Kennedy. Harvard and Columbia are proud of their association with Theodore Roosevelt. Columbia University is proud of its association with President Eisenhower (he happened to be a president of Columbia). The list goes on.
But is Princeton University proud of its association with President Wilson? Woodrow Wilson attended Princeton as an undergraduate and the university’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs is renowned. But could this highly respected school within Princeton be renamed in near future? It seems this might well be the case as racial unrest sweeps college campuses (and with unrest at Yale University at the center of the media’s attention in particular).
According to a piece on Princeton’s association with Woodrow Wilson in “Reuters” by Dominick Reuter, “Princeton University has pledged to consider renaming buildings dedicated to former U.S. President Woodrow Wilson in the latest U.S. campus effort to quell student complaints of racism by tweaking names, titles and mascots. A deal top administrators signed late Thursday with student demonstrators ended a 32-hour sit-in outside Princeton President Christopher Eisgruber’s office. At about the same time, a threat against the university triggered a campus-wide safety alert but on Friday was ‘deemed not credible,’ school security officials said. Protest organizers at the Ivy League university in New Jersey urged Princeton to remove Wilson’s name and image from its public spaces and from its Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Wilson, the 28th U.S. president from 1913 to 1921, was a leader of the Progressive Movement but also supported racial segregation, which was part of public policy at the time, particularly in southern states.”
What do you think about this deal that administrators at Princeton have signed? Do you think that the university should rename all buildings associated with its alumnus, President Woodrow Wilson, the man who guided America through World War I? Or do you believe President Wilson was simply a man of his times? We’re curious to hear from our readers on this controversial subject.