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College Renamed

Corey Menafee, a Black New Haven resident, worked as a dishwasher at this college, which was previously called Calhoun College. Menafee grew up in New Haven and has two children. He graduated from Virginia Union University in 2001 with a degree in mass communication, before starting his job at Yale.

In 2016, inside this college he saw a stained glass window depicting two enslaved African Americans working outside in what looked like a cotton field. He said he was tired of looking at the “racist, very degrading” image. So, Corey Menafee grabbed a broom and smashed the stained glass window, knocking it down from where it was hanging and breaking the glass image. He was arrested and charged with a first degree felony charge of criminal mischief, and he lost his job at Yale. A large community came out in support of Menafee, and he was able to get his job back, and the charges against him were dropped.

Calhoun College had been named after former Vice President, John C. Calhoun, who was an advocate of slavery. Yale students and New Haven community members had been protesting the name of the college for many years, calling it racist. Menafee’s actions helped bring this campaign to a larger audience. In 2017, about a year after Menafee broke the stained glass window, Yale finally changed the name to Grace Hopper College.

After hearing about just a handful of historic New Haveners, who else might Yale have considered to be the namesake of this college?

A Peoples' History of Dixwell
  1. Dixwell Tour Intro
  2. Hillhouse High School
  3. Directions to Monterey Jazz Club
  4. Monterey Jazz Club
  5. Directions to Hannah Gray Home
  6. Hannah Gray Home
  7. Directions to John Daniels Place
  8. John Daniels Place
  9. Directions to Goffe Street School
  10. Goffe Street School
  11. Directions to Negro YMCA
  12. Negro YMCA
  13. Directions to Masonic Temple
  14. Masonic Temple
  15. Directions to Q House
  16. Q House
  17. Directions to Bristol Street
  18. Bristol Street
  19. Directions to Grove Street Cemetery
  20. Grove Street Cemetery
  21. Directions to Attempt to Make an HBCU in New Haven
  22. Attempt to Create HBCU in New Haven
  23. Directions to Yale Law School
  24. Jane Matilda Bolin and Pauli Murray
  25. Directions to Grace Hopper College
  26. College Renamed
  27. Directions Back to Hillhouse High School
  28. End of Dixwell Tour