The Oldest College Daily surveyed Yale alumni on the renaming of Calhoun College. The results were predictable. Alumni from older classes, males, and whites were more likely to disapprove. Dummer Junger, emotionalist women, and whiny minorities tended to be in favor.
The Daily News did its usual smooth job of warbling hosanas to the river gods as the University goes down the tubes, but a careful reader will find the grudging admission that the Salovey Administration just torched another very large load of affluent alumni support.
61 percent of the 1,816 alumni who responded approved of the renaming, while 29.6 percent of respondents were either â€œopposedâ€ or â€œstrongly opposedâ€ to the decision. An additional 9.4 percent were neutral on the issue. Sixty-seven percent of respondents graduated between 1980 and 2016, and the remaining 33 percent between 1946 and 1979.
Indeed, more than 78 percent of respondents from the classes of 1946 through 1959 were either â€œopposedâ€ or â€œstrongly opposedâ€ to renaming, a figure well above the 68 percent of alumni from the 1960s who felt the same way. Among alumni from the 1970s, only 34 percent opposed renaming. And those against the renaming who graduated in the 1980s represented only 19 percent of all respondents from that decade. For every subsequent decade, this figure hovers around 20 percent. …
In addition to indicating their attitude toward the name change in their correspondence with the University, alumni were also divided on how much attention the Calhoun debate deserved, Oâ€™Neill said. Many alumni wrote that they felt the Calhoun decision was very significant for Yale, while others thought it was given too much attention and that the University should focus on other priorities.
In addition to a generational divide, the survey also found a split along political leaning, ethnicity and gender. More than 84 percent of alumni who identified as â€œconservativeâ€ or â€œvery conservativeâ€ opposed the renaming. Nonwhite respondents were more likely to be supportive of the name change than respondents who identified as Caucasian, and female respondents â€” all of whom are members of the class of 1971 or later â€” were significantly more likely to view the decision favorably than men. …
[W]hile other alums said they were impressed by the renaming process and supported Saloveyâ€™s handling of the procedure, the survey also showed that many alums were nonetheless discouraged from continuing to donate to the University following the Calhoun decision.
Though this was by no means a universal phenomenon â€” [Emphasis added -JDZ] only one additional percent of alums who took the survey were discouraged rather than encouraged to give â€” the nameâ€™s negative effect on alumni giving was especially evident in older generations of Yalies.
For the classes from the 50s, for instance, 62.5 percent of alums who reported that they regularly give to the University said their giving was â€œnegativelyâ€ or â€œvery negativelyâ€ impacted by the name change. This figure stands at almost 57 percent for alums from the 60s, and roughly 28 percent of alumni who graduated during the 70s.
From the 80s on, however, this figure oscillates around 16 percent, and many more alumni responded that they were in fact more inclined to give to the University after the Calhoun decision. Further, of those alumni who said they did not regularly give to the University, almost 64 percent said that their plans to give were not at all affected by the naming decision.