Nominations for Hopper College Windows

The Hopper College Window Commission Committee has completed its work. The information below is retained for those interested in learning about the history and background of the committee’s work. 

Yale University is accepting nominations or self-nominations of artists to create new sets of windows on two sites at Grace Hopper College, one of Yale’s fourteen residential colleges. The residential college system, a distinctive feature of Yale College, fosters a sense of spirit and allegiance at Yale by housing undergraduates in communities that contain their own dining hall, library, common room, and artistic and athletic facilities. Decorative windows have been incorporated into many of the campus’s academic and residential buildings, including works by leading figures in the medium: Louis Comfort Tiffany, John La Farge, and G. Owen Bonawit. The university has a long-held tradition of integrating art and architecture.

The Hopper College Windows committee seeks one or two artists to design windows to replace two sets of pictorial windows that have been removed from the college. These windows depicted scenes from the antebellum American South and scenes from the life of the residential college’s previous namesake, John C. Calhoun (1804 B.A., 1822 LL.D.), and included images of slaves. Effective July 1, 2017, John Calhoun’s name has been replaced with that of Admiral Grace Murray Hopper. A trailblazing computer scientist, brilliant mathematician and teacher, and dedicated public servant, Grace Hopper received a master’s degree (1930) and a Ph.D. (1934) in mathematics from Yale. 

The first set of windows in the common room had presented a pictorial timeline of John Calhoun’s life. This stand-alone site presents an opportunity to honor and celebrate the legacy of Grace Hopper’s life.

The second set of windows in the dining hall, of which only a portion has been removed, glorify the antebellum South and idealize rural American life more generally. This integrated site presents an opportunity to confront, not erase, the college’s history, a motivation exemplified by the renaming of the college and the removal of the original windows. The dining hall is named for Roosevelt Thompson ’84, an African American alumnus of the college who had been named a Rhodes Scholar and was killed in a traffic accident during his senior year.


Regarding the change in the college’s name, President Peter Salovey has said, “The decision to change a college’s name is not one we take lightly, but John Calhoun’s legacy as a white supremacist and a national leader who passionately promoted slavery as a ‘positive good’ fundamentally conflicts with Yale’s mission and values.” Photographs of the removed windows, current temporary windows, and the rooms in which they are situated can be viewed below. Links to additional background material are also included on this page.


Yale welcomes nominations and self-nominations of artists to undertake either project. A nomination would include a brief description of the reason for your nomination and should be sent to Joy McGrath ( by September 15, 2017.

Artists need not work in glass to be considered; if selected, Yale will retain a glass fabricator to realize designs in glass.

Method of selection

The Hopper College Windows Commission Committee will consider all nominations, and will contact and work with artists directly as appropriate. View the membership of the committee. The committee may be contacted via email to Joy McGrath ( in the Yale president’s office. 


Hopper College
Exterior   View of full dining hall; windows visible in this photograph will be retained
Temporary windows in dining hall   Temporary windows in dining hall
Temporary windows in dining hall   Temporary windows in common room

windows removed from common room

windows removed from dining hall

Existing Windows in the Dining Hall