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Harvard Medical School Renames Academic Society After First Black Tenured Professor

Harvard Medical School Dean George Q. Daley has approved renaming the school’s Holmes Society in honor of physician-scientist William Augustus Hinton, the first Black tenured professor at Harvard, The Harvard Crimson reported.

Harvard Medical School E1602110229555Two medical students had started a petition to rename the Holmes Society earlier in 2020, accruing more than 1,000 signatures.

A task force of students and faculty chose Hinton as the new namesake.

“The quality that stood out about Professor Hinton, that I think really moved us towards his selection, was that he openly admitted his humanity,” Advisory Dean and Director of the Hinton Society Anthony V. D’Amico said. “There are times when people fail, and we saw one of his qualities is that he would fall in terms of his research or clinical practice, or in terms of his science, and he wouldn’t give up. And I think that that kind of tenacity and fortitude, courage, that students want to be reminded of.”

The Holmes Society – one of five academic societies at the school – was named after Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., former dean of Harvard Medical School.

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