Major donor’s link to slave trade, London biz school to change its name

Come September, the London-based business school Sir John Cass Business School or Cass Business School will be renamed as Bayes Business School, the school said in a statement.

Till such time the educational institution will be known as ‘The Business School (formerly Cass)’.

The name change is being effected after it was found that some of Sir John Cass’s wealth was obtained through his links to the slave trade.

Originally called City University Business School, a donation from Sir John Cass’s Foundation in 2001 resulted in the change of name.

The school has 1,071 Indian alumni till date. Since 2018 the business school is attracting a good number of Indian students. In 2020, 119 Indian students were admitted to the Cass Business School.

According to the business school, Thomas Bayes (1702-1761) was a nonconformist theologian and mathematician best known for his foundational work on conditional probability. His grave is in Bunhill Fields, opposite the Business School.

Bayes’ theorem suggests that we get closer to the truth by constantly updating our beliefs in proportion to the weight of new evidence. It is this idea – not only the person – that is the motivation behind adopting this name.

Bayes’ ideas are central to Finance, Actuarial Science and many branches of Management, the core disciplines of the Business School. They are also the foundation of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

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