Yale college

School Notes: Yale College
September/October 2020

New Hopper College windows will confront past, celebrate change

Seattle-based artist Barbara Earl Thomas has been commissioned to create five new stained-glass windows for the Grace Hopper College dining hall. The windows are intended to address the legacy of John C. Calhoun, Class of 1804—former namesake of the college and known slavery advocate—and honor Hopper ’30MA, ’34PhD, a trailblazing computer scientist and mathematician. “My goal with this project is to depict the history of the college’s name in a way that is real, honorable, and in the spirit of our time,” Thomas told Yale News. The new designs will replace existing windows in the dining hall’s central bay that depict scenes glorifying the pastoral lifestyle of the antebellum South, a lifestyle made possible by slave labor. In addition, Thomas is creating two metalwork portraits, one of Hopper and one of Roosevelt L. Thompson ’84, for the wood niches on either side of the dining hall’s last bay of windows. In 2016 the dining hall was named in honor of Thompson, an African American resident of the college and a Rhodes Scholar, who died in a car accident during his senior year. 

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