April 7, 2015
CONTACT: Kaozouapa (Liz) Lee, 202-300-4951
Yale Alumni Push for More Diverse College Names
NEW HAVEN – Alumni of Yale University released this statement after the launch of the website NewYaleColleges.com on April 6, 2015. The website continues the conversation started last fall by an open letter to Yale President Peter Salovey and the Yale Corporation which garnered more than 3,300 signatures. The letter implored Yale to name the two residential colleges scheduled for opening in the fall of 2017 after alumni and benefactors who reflect the diversity of Yale’s history. To date, more than 7,000 unique visitors have visited the site.
Christopher Lapinig CC’07 LAW’13, who conceived of the website said, “We were delighted that the University invited alumni to give input in naming the new colleges. The website seeks to inspire the University to name the new colleges after facets of the Yale community that remain unrepresented among our residential college namesakes today. These unrepresented facets include, but are not limited to, Yale alumnae, alumni of color and LGBT alumni.
Jeania Ree Moore SY’12, who worked on the open letter in the fall with Ivy Onyeador SY’11, remarked, “The naming of new colleges is an unprecedented opportunity to diversify the history memorialized in residential college names. The names of the residential colleges speak to Yale’s past, present, and future. Naming the new colleges after figures such as Mary Goodman, Henry Roe Cloud, Edward Bouchet, Yung Wing, and Grace Hopper would continue the tradition of naming colleges after notable figures in Yale’s past, but it would also make Yale’s institutional memory more inclusive.
Kaozouapa Liz Lee TC’11, who helped spearhead the creation of the website, said, “We hope President Salovey and the Yale Corporation visit the site. We also want the website to serve as a forum for the Yale community, where they can continue the conversation about inclusion and diversity at Yale.”
Onyeador said, “It’s exciting to see so many alumni collaborate in this effort — from the thousands who signed the letter, to those who donated money and others who contributed their talents to the website. We are deeply indebted to all of the support alumni have extended to these advocacy efforts. We only hope the Yale Corporation and President Salovey hear us out.”