By Thea Gribilas, Edward Djan, Heidi Lee and Tyler Griffin
This story is developing and will be updated with more information as it becomes available.
Ryerson University will be renamed Toronto Metropolitan University “effective immediately” after the Board of Governors (BoG) unanimously approved the recommendation from the advisory committee on university renaming, according to a press release.
President Mohamed Lachemi said in the statement that the new name is a reflection on the university’s location. “Located in the heart of our country’s biggest and most diverse city—we represent all that it is to be metropolitan.”
“We are a gathering place for people from all over the world, from all walks of life, with broad and diverse perspectives, lived experiences and aspirations.”
The statement said that Toronto Metropolitan University will also seek to expand its reputation and reach, citing initiatives like the Lincoln Alexander School of Law, the satellite campus in Cairo and the School of Medicine in Brampton as examples.
In the statement, Lachemi thanked the University Renaming Advisory Committee, community members and the Standing Strong Task Force, adding that, “without your work we would not be at this critically important moment.”
Hayden King, executive director of Indigenous think tank Yellowhead Institute, called it a “fantastic name” on Twitter. “I am proud to be part of the generation of Indigenous students, faculty and staff that made this happen,” he wrote.
The new name comes after the BoG approved all 22 recommendations from the Standing Strong Task Force, including a recommendation to rename the university, last August. In June, protestors toppled and beheaded the campus statue of Egerton Ryerson.
“As we start the next chapter as Toronto Metropolitan University, I want to assure everyone that our new name is not about erasing our history,” said Lachemi. “As a university, our values have long defined who we are and they will always guide where we are going.”
As previously reported by The Eye, the university’s blue and gold colours will remain the same. The university also announced in November that it would give alumni the opportunity to have their degrees reissued with the new name.
The university revealed a new logo on its social media handles.
Ryerson has faced growing calls to change its name in the recent years due to the involvement of Egerton Ryerson, the school’s namesake, with the residential school system. Ryerson is considered one of the architects of the residential school system in Canada.
The university first announced it would change its name on Aug. 26, while beginning to implement the recommendations from the Task Force.
The university conducted three weeks of community consultations from Nov. 16 to Dec. 7.
The transition to the Toronto Metropolitan University name will happen in phases. According to the university, some university materials such as social media handles will change immediately, while other changes like external signage and amendments to legal documents could take longer.
Workers were seen removing Ryerson and “RU” signage from the Sheldon & Tracy Levy Student Learning Centre on Tuesday, following the announcement.
A video of president Lachemi explaining the new name was posted to the university’s social media accounts with the hashtag #torontomet.
“I cannot think of a better name for our university,” said Lachemi. “I am so grateful to the University Renaming Advisory Committee for their dedication and determination in finding a name that will unify us for decades to come.”
Further information is available on the Next Chapter webpage.