I have been thinking about the students who came through the doors of Ryerson when it first opened in 1948. Choosing to study at a new institution with a decidedly different approach to education was a bold decision.
At that time, the name associated with the new school gave it instant familiarity and credibility—Egerton Ryerson was a well-known historical figure in post-Second World War Toronto.
Over the course of time, however, we have come to recognize that the legacy of Egerton Ryerson has increasingly been a source of pain and frustration for many members
of our community. To be clear, Egerton Ryerson was not subject to anything like a trial in the course of considering a name change. The decision is based on the symbolism of the name’s connection to our country’s colonial past and all that has entailed for Indigenous Peoples, as outlined throughout this edition of the magazine.
It is time to find a name that better reflects the university’s strengths, values and aspirations. We will make that change understanding that we are building on a strong foundation, established over decades in large part by the success of alumni like you. The renaming, which will be guided by our core values of equity, inclusion and community engagement, is the latest example of one of the great characteristics of our university—a willingness to be innovative, to be bold, and to adapt and change with the times.
“Our new name will reinforce our mission of providing exceptional education to our students.”
We have before us an exciting challenge to select a name that will represent the successful university we all know, a name that will come to be recognized around the world as the home of strong and innovative programs and curriculum, exceptional student experiences, excellent research and outstanding partnerships, all located in the heart of a truly global city.
Given the ingenuity and strength of our community, I look forward with great optimism to our collective future. Our new name will reinforce our mission and vision of providing exceptional education for our students, and will enhance our reputation and the value of our degrees—of your degree. Most importantly, it will be a name that we can embrace with pride and a sense of belonging to this wonderful community.
The Ryerson name will always be part of our history; the renaming of our university is not an exercise to erase the past, particularly given that our academic reputation and innovative approach continue to be held in high esteem. For all of us with connections to Ryerson, the memories we share and the experiences that helped shape who we are remain cherished and unchanged.