Yale University

Class News

Len Baker '64 appointed to Yale Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming

From the Office of the President

August 1, 2016

Len Baker

In recent years, and with increasing intensity during the past year, a wide-ranging conversation has taken place at Yale and elsewhere about the role of naming and renaming in acknowledging and confronting our history. Although decisions at Yale and other universities have been widely publicized, the issue is not limited to college campuses: there has been discussion and debate about renaming monuments, buildings, counties, streets, and other public spaces around the country and around the world.


The charge of the Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming is to articulate a set of principles that can guide Yale in decisions about whether to remove a historical name from a building or other prominent structure or space on campus — principles that are enduring rather than specific to particular controversies. The committee will review the experience both at Yale and in other institutions and communities that have addressed the question of renaming. In doing so, it will consult with experts, communicate and coordinate with other universities that are addressing similar issues, and collaborate with other groups at Yale that have been charged with related work, such as the Committee on Art in Public Spaces. After the committee’s recommendations have been articulated, approved, and disseminated, Yale will be able to apply these principles to requests for the removal of a name.

Community Input

The committee will collect input from the Yale community and review input already received on this topic during the conversations of the past year. Send an email to the members of the Committee to Establish Principles on Renaming.

Members of the Committee

  • Faculty
    • John Witt (chair)
    • David Blight (advisor)
    • Beverly Gage
    • Jonathan Holloway
    • Sharon Oster
    • Stephen Pitti
  • Alumni
    • G. Leonard Baker, Jr. ’64
    • Tom A. Bernstein ’74, ’77 J.D.
    • Wilhelmina M. Wright ’86
  • Staff
    • Lalani Perry
  • Students
    • Dasia Moore
    • Wendy Xiao

Len Baker is managing director of the venture capital firm Sutter Hill Ventures and a director of a number of public and private companies. His service to Yale has included membership on the advisory board of the School of Management, the Development Board, the Investments Committee, and the AYA Board of Governors. He was a successor trustee of the Yale Corporation from 2000 to 2012.