Grace Murray Hopper '34 PhD College at Yale
Yale has renamed Calhoun College for Grace Murray Hopper, 1934 GSAS Mathematics PhD, computer pioneer and public servant. On February 11, 2017, Yale President Peter Salovey announced that the Yale Corporation had voted to rename the controversial Calhoun College for Grace Murray Hopper (read full message).
Hopper was one of the very few women to earn a PhD in Mathematics in the 1930s. She taught at Vassar, then joined the Navy in WWII, eventually rising to the rank of Rear Admiral. A computer pioneer, she worked on the first computers including UNiVAC, invented the first computer language compiler, and built COBOL, one of the most widely-used computer languages. She continued working and teaching into her 80's, earning the nickname “Amazing Grace.
“Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, 'We've always done it this way.' I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise.”
Now Yale honors an undergraduate residential college with her name, so that her exemplary life can inspire us daily. Other honors for Grace Murray Hopper:
- The Grace Hopper Celebration is the is the world's largest gathering of women technologists, produced by the Anita Borg Institute annually.
- She was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, National Technology medal, and Yale GS Wilbur Cross Medal.