Yale President Peter Salovey has announced that the term "master" will no longer be used in Yale's residential colleges. The new title is "head of college."
The name Calhoun College will remain unchanged.
The two newest residential colleges will be named for Pauli Murray and Benjamin Franklin. Here's an excerpt from President Salovey's letter to the Yale community:
The northern-most college, sited closest to Science Hill, Pauli Murray College will honor a Yale alumna (’65 J.S.D., ’79 Hon. D.Div.) noted for her achievements in law and religion, and for her leadership in civil rights and the advancement of women. Pauli Murray enrolled at Hunter College in the 1920s, graduating in 1933 after deferring her studies following the Great Depression. Later, she began an unsuccessful campaign to enter the all-white University of North Carolina. Murray’s case received national publicity, and she became widely recognized as a civil rights activist.
A graduate of Howard Law School, Murray had an extraordinary legal career as a champion of racial and gender equity. United States Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall cited her book, States’ Laws on Race and Color, for its influence on the lawyers fighting segregation laws. President John F. Kennedy appointed her to the Committee on Civil and Political Rights of the President’s Commission on the Status of Women.
Awarded a fellowship by the Ford Foundation, Murray pursued a doctorate in law at Yale in order to further her scholarly work on gender and racial justice. She co-authored Jane Crow and the Law: Sex Discrimination and Title VII, in which she drew parallels between gender-based discrimination and Jim Crow laws. In 1965, she received her J.S.D. from Yale Law School, the first African-American to do so. Her dissertation was entitled, Roots of the Racial Crisis: Prologue to Policy. Immediately thereafter, she served as counsel in White v. Crook, which successfully challenged discrimination on the basis of sex and race in jury selection. She was a cofounder, with thirty-one others, of the National Organization for Women.
Murray was a vice president of Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina; she left to become a professor at Brandeis University, where she earned tenure and taught until 1973. She was the first person to teach African-American studies and women’s studies at Brandeis.
The final stage of Murray’s career continued a life marked by confronting challenges and breaking down barriers. At age 63, inspired by her connections with other women in the Episcopal Church, she left Brandeis and enrolled at the General Theological Seminary. She became the first African-American woman ordained as an Episcopal priest.
Pauli Murray represents the best of Yale: a preeminent intellectual inspired to lead and prepared to serve her community and her country.
Some New Haven Register coverage is here.