Few would quibble with removal of the name of Woodrow Wilson from the school and other public inscriptions of his name at the University in light of his prejudicial remarks and writings. I would propose an interim solution: As his wife Edith Wilson was the tacit U.S. president during his final post-stroke year in office, and as Mrs. Wilson had remained steadfast in ties to Princeton for decades thereafter — I had been privileged to shake her hand when she came to campus as guest of honor at a major on-campus convocation in 1953 — I would propose changing the name of the school from Woodrow to Edith Wilson immediately, on an interim basis, until such a time as a permanent name can be approved, either to hers or other’s. This would recognize her signal commitment supporting the University, her role as tacit U.S. president 1919-20, and her unique part carrying out the highest U.S. governmental role by a woman in American history, that at a critical postwar time to work to achieve lasting peace. (You may know that on the 2300 block of S St. NW in Washington, D.C., her home till her death in the 1960s, is now a museum.)

More research on names and backgrounds is clearly needed. But though Woodrow was a racist, I have yet to encounter any prejudicial statements attributed to Edith. 

Paul Hertelendy ’53
Berkeley, Calif.