Harvard University to Replace Seal Displaying Crest of 18th Century Slaveowner

The school's shield features the family crest of Isaac Royall, an endower of the school who came from a slave-owning family.

After months of pushback from its student body, Harvard University officials have decided to replace the school’s shield that features the crest of an 18th century slaveholder.

The Huffington Post reports that the school’s governing committee passed the approval earlier this week after facing protests from students, who said that the crest promotes the school’s ties to slavery. 

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The shield, which was designed in 1963, features a crest from the family of Isaac Royall, who contributed to the endowment of Harvard’s first law professor, but who also came from a slave-owning family.

University president Drew Faust said that school officials are hoping to replace the seal in time for Harvard’s bicentennial celebration next year.

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“While we accept the request to change the shield, we do so on the understanding that the school will actively explore other steps to recognize rather than to suppress the realities of its history, mindful of our shared obligation to honor the past not by seeking to erase it, but rather by bringing it to light and learning from it,” Faust said in a statement.

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