Earlier today, President Peter Salovey wrote the Yale community to announce, among other things, that one of two new residential colleges would be named for Benjamin Franklin, our nation’s first Postmaster General. But was he really the Postmaster General most deserving of that honor? Here are nine other white male Postmasters General we could have named a college after:
- Samuel Osgood: Appointed by George Washington in 1785, Samuel Osgood was our fourth Postmaster General, and the first to be appointed under the U.S. Constitution! He may have gone to Harvard, but don’t worry – like Franklin, he’d probably heard of Yale.
- Joseph Habersham: The last Postmaster General appointed by Washington (in 1795), Habersham notably graduated from Princeton and served as Mayor of Savannah! And while he may not have corresponded with Ezra Stiles, he was related to Richard West Habersham, a painter who was close friends with Samuel F.B. Morse! Neat!
- Gideon Granger: Appointed in 1801, Granger was the only Postmaster General to serve under Thomas Jefferson. Plus, his name is alliterative! Can’t you picture “Gideon Granger College?”
- Amos Kendall: When Andrew Jackson appointed Amos Kendall Postmaster General in 1835, he never thought he’d one day be the name of Yale residential college. He was right.
- Francis Granger: Like his father Gideon, Granger served as Postmaster General. Unlike his father, he had the misfortune to be appointed by William Henry Harrison, who died like, really quickly. He went to Yale though, so that’s nice.
- Horatio King: Appointed by James Buchanan, Horatio King served for less than a month in 1861. But we’re pretty sure nothing’s ever been called “King College,” so that would be cool.
- M. Dickinson: Not only did our 34th Postmaster General have amazing facial hair, but he also had to deal with a railroad strike during his tenure. He still got that mail delivered though, which should count for something.
- Winton M. Blount: This guy, appointed by Nixon in 1969, was the final cabinet-level Postmaster General. Fun fact: he also persuaded NASA to take a picture of the moon!
- Patrick R. Donahoe: Naming a college after Donahoe (appointed in 2010) would be a fitting way to honor his position as the last of a previously-uninterrupted chain of white male Postmasters General. Almost like the namesakes of the residential colleges!