Columbia University to remove George Washington’s doctor’s name from campus dorm

Samuel Bard

As left-leaning institutions continue their orgy of politically correct conformity, scrambling to outdo one another in “woke” self-punishment, yet another has renounced part of its own history that for decades raised no concerns.

The Associated Press reports that Columbia University has announced it is striking the name of its medical school’s founder from a campus dormitory because the man – a pioneer in obstetrics who lived from 1742 to 1821 –owned three slaves and once offered a reward for the return of one who ran away, the university’s president said on Aug. 28.

Columbia President Lee Bollinger proclaimed in a letter that the school was not erasing Samuel Bard’s contributions to the school, but just his name. This was due to peer pressure, Bollinger wrote: In the current media and cultural climate, having a dorm named for a slave owner was not appropriate.

Bollinger said it the dorm will be rechristened “with a name that represents our University’s values.”

In August, Columbia’s Teachers College threw down the “woke” gauntlet by removing psychologist Edward Thorndike’s name from a campus building because he advocated for eugenics and voiced views that the school deemed racist, sexist, and anti-semitic.

Along with owning three slaves, Bard helped develop a treatment for diphtheria and served as personal physician to President George Washington. In 1767 he founded Columbia’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Bard owned three people as slaves, according to the 1790 census. In 1776, he placed an ad in the New York Gazette offering a $10 reward for the return of a man named James who was believed to have fled on Long Island.


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