Retire All Place-Names and Titles Honoring Dr. Samuel Bard at Columbia University
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Dr. Samuel Bard founded the medical school that would become Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1769. He is memorialized in the name of Bard Hall, where many medical students live, and in the Samuel Bard Professorship of Medicine.
But as documented by the Columbia and Slavery website and the New York Slavery Records Index, Samuel Bard was also a slave owner. A 1776 ad Dr. Bard placed in the New York Gazette offers $10 for the return of a man named James.
No University can claim it values Black lives while forcing Black students to live in a building named for a slaveowner. We cannot claim a commitment to diversity if we have a professorship named for a slave owner. All uses of Samuel Bard's name at Columbia must be immediately retired.
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