NEW HAVEN, Conn. — After years of debate, Yale University announced Saturday it will change the name of a residential college that honors a 19th century alumnus and former U.S. vice president who was an ardent supporter of slavery.

Yale trustees said the Ivy League university is renaming Calhoun College after trailblazing computer scientist Grace Murray Hopper, a mathematician who earned Yale degrees in the 1930s, invented a pioneering computer programming language and became a Navy rear admiral.

Yale said it was the final decision in a controversy over former Vice President John C. Calhoun’s legacy that had simmered for years and boiled over with campus protests in 2015.

The university’s president, Peter Salovey, announced in April that the school would keep Calhoun’s name. But in August, he appointed an advisory panel to consider whether the name should be changed, after all.

“We have a strong presumption against renaming buildings on this campus,” Salovey said Saturday. “I have been concerned all along and remain concerned that we don’t do things that erase history. So renamings are going to be exceptional.”

The board of trustees made its decision to rename the college Friday. Salovey said the case was exceptional because Calhoun’s principal legacy is at odds with the university’s values and mission, and his views were contested in his own time.

Calhoun, from the class of 1804, was a South Carolina senator and a leading voice for those opposed to abolishing slavery. He served as vice president from 1825 to 1832.

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