Penn isn’t the only Ivy League school where Benjamin Franklin’s legacy lives on.
At Yale, the university’s administration has decided to name one of its new residential colleges after the founding father, inventor and founder of Penn, a move that has provoked criticism from the student body, according to a report.
In a , the Yale Office of Public Affairs & Communications called the move a “product of extensive input...and careful deliberation” by the Yale Corporation trustees.
Students disagreed, with many criticizing the choice of another straight, white male colonial figure as the namesake of a residential college. The Yale College Council released a statement arguing that Franklin is a poor choice due to his lack of connection to the university. Franklin never attended Yale but did receive an honorary degree in 1753.
Many students interviewed by the Yale Daily News pointed to a $250 million donation — the largest single gift ever made to the university — by Charles Johnson, who has praised Franklin as a role model, as the real reason for the name choice.
One student denounced the decision to the News as “lazy” and criticized Franklin for holding slaves for most of his life, despite later becoming an abolitionist.
Students reacted more positively to the choice of Pauli Murray as namesake for a second new residential college. Murray, a 1965 Yale Law graduate, is the first woman of color to be honored in such a manner.
“She was a courageous civil rights leader for over 40 years, a pioneering feminist, a gay woman and a tireless worker for labor rights,” Yale history professor Glenda Gilmore told the News.
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