Amherst College announced Tuesday that it was dropping the colonial military commander who the town is named after as its unofficial mascot, after students raised concerns about his endorsement of using smallpox-infested blankets to wipe out Native Americans.
The Massachusetts liberal arts college joins a gaggle of schools and towns that in recent months have distanced themselves from figures with controversial pasts. Some students at the college considered Lord Jeffery Amherst to be a symbol of white oppression and thus unfit to represent the school, according to The New York Times.
The Times reported that college officials said they decided “not to employ this reference in its official communications, its messaging and its symbolism (including in the name of the Inn, the only place on the campus where the Lord Jeffery name officially appears).”
While Lord Jeff was used as a campus symbol, he was never made the school’s official mascot.