Commencement is underway at colleges around the U.S., capping a tumultuous year in which campus race relations took center stage. The 2015-2016 academic year saw students rise up en masse and demand institutional changes to address a climate of racial hostility, intolerance and discrimination.
Following student-led protests, sit-ins and other demonstrations that drew national news coverage in the fall, university presidents and deans of colleges tendered their resignations. Campuses removed and renamed statues and buildings with Confederate and slavery ties. Here are several developments on college campuses in the 2015-2016 school year:
Yale faculty members resign
A pair of faculty members at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, announced that they would resign their leadership positions at Silliman College, where they mentored undergrads. Nicholas Christakis, a tenured professor, and his wife, Erika, announced their decision in a tweet Wednesday.
"My wife, Erika, and I have devoted our professional lives to advocating for the well-being of all youn
The couple had been at the center of student protests over an email Erika sent, in which she cited free speech in her defense of students' choice to wear Halloween costumes that feature blackface, turbans and Native American headdresses, according to the New York Times.
Erika's was a response to an email sent to students in late October
University of Missouri president steps down
In October, student activist group Concerned Student 1950 launched days of protests and a hunger strike over pervasive racism that they said went unaddressed by
Students asked for the immediate resignation
Acknowledging that he did not act swiftly enough to address the students' concerns, university President Timothy Wolfe announced Nov. 9 that we would step down. The school also hired a chief di
Ithaca College president to step down
Students at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York, were outraged by racially insensitive remarks made about a black alumna during an event on campus. Similar to concerns at Yale, the protesting Ithaca students said the incident was indicative of campus racial tensions that administrators had ignored.
In January, college President Tom Rochon announced he would
sity acknowledg es slavery ties
Mulledy Hall, a student dormitory, and McSherry Hall, a mediation center, will now be called Freedom Hall and Remembrance Hall respectively. Georgetown President John DeGioia said the name changes were recommended by his
Claremont McKenna College president leaves amid protests
Dean Mary Spellman stepped down in November following campus protests and hun
University of Texas, A
ustin relocates offensive statues
In August, the University of Texas at Austin took down statues of Jefferson Davis, who w
After June's race-motivated massacre at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina,