Harvard Medical School Dean George Q. Daley just approved the notion to rename the school’s Holmes Society in honor of the first Black tenured professor at Harvard, physician-scientist William Augustus Hinton.
According to The Harvard Crimson, a petition to rename the Holmes Society was formed earlier this year by two medical students, garnering more than 1,000 signatures.
Diverse Issues In Higher Education reports students and faculty made up the task force that chose Hinton as the new namesake.
“The quality that stood out about Professor Hinton, that I think really moved us toward his selection was that he openly admitted his humanity,” said Director of the Hinton Society and Advisory Dean, Anthony V. D’Amico. “There are times when people fail, and we saw one of his qualities is that he would fall in terms of his research or clinical practice, or in terms of his science, and he wouldn’t give up. And I think that that [is the] kind of tenacity and fortitude, courage, that students want to be reminded of.”
The Holmes Society, which is one of five academic societies at the school, was originally named after the former dean of Harvard Medical School – Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.