Dartmouth College President Philip Hanlon says a copper weather vane that depicts what he called “an offensive image” of a Native American will be removed from the top of the main library on the Hanover campus.
The 600-pound weather vane, designed in 1928, shows a Native American man wearing feathers and smoking a long pipe seated on the ground in front of the college’s founder, Eleazar Wheelock. Historical records suggest a round shape behind Wheelock is a barrel of rum.
“Baker Tower, which sits on top of the library, in the center of campus, is a powerful symbol of our commitment to learning and academic excellence,” said the president. “From bottom to top, it should reflect our values.”
Students and alumni have been asking for the weather vane to be replaced, calling it racist and demeaning. At almost 7 feet tall and 9 feet long, the weather vane was the result of a contest held during the construction of Baker Tower in 1928.
Hanlon has asked Vice President for Communications Justin Anderson to organize a working group to review new designs for a replacement, as well as to consider changes to other icons and images on campus.