In response to students’ demands amid the nationwide anti-racism protests, the University of Rochester has removed from campus the name of its founder who resisted admitting Black students, reported the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.
George Hoyt Whipple was a Nobel laureate and the first dean of the medical school. For as long as he could, he resisted increasing calls to admit Black students. He relented – by agreeing to admit one per class – only after the school was threatened with the loss of funding and its status as a nonprofit.
The first place Whipple’s name was removed from was his former office at a museum named after him. The office will now be made a multicultural space.
A student-led chapter of White Coats for Black Lives has been campaigning for weeks now for the removal of Whipple’s name.
“The time has come [for this action],” wrote Dr. Mark Taubman, the center’s current CEO and dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry, in a letter to student activists.
In response to other student demands for racial equity, the university also announced the creation of two full scholarships for Black students in the upcoming class.
“First, I want to acknowledge that our institution has failed on past promises to improve as fast or as fully as learners who are black, indigenous, and people of color have a right to expect,” Taubman wrote in the letter.” I am personally committed to increasing my knowledge around anti-Black racism, and to creating a culture of inclusivity at the Medical Center that better supports Black learners.”