Ryerson University will be formally changing its name to Toronto Metropolitan University following a unanimous vote by its board of governors on Tuesday.
“I cannot think of a better name than Toronto Metropolitan University,” said President and Vice-Chancellor Mohamed Lachemi in a statement. “Metropolitan is a reflection of who we have always been – an urban institution dedicated to excellence, innovation, and inclusion and who we aim to be – a place where all feel welcome, seen, represented and celebrated.”
The school committed to changing its name last summer following backlash over its namesake, Egerton Ryerson, who helped create Canada’s residential school system.
Located in the heart of Canada’s biggest and most diverse city, Toronto Metropolitan University represents all that it is to be metropolitan. The university is a gathering place for people from all over the world, from all walks of life, with broad and diverse perspectives, lived experiences and ambitions. Metropolitan also defines the university’s aspirations to expand its reputation and reach, as exemplified by its new Lincoln Alexander School of Law, its first international campus in Cairo, Egypt and its plans for a future School of Medicine in Brampton.
“It was an honour to chair the University Renaming Advisory Committee, along with vice-chair Tanya De Mello. I am very pleased by the strong support of the Board of Governors and excited to have played a part in the adoption of our name which allows for a new beginning,” said Jennifer S. Simpson, Provost and Vice-President, Academic and Chair of URAC. “Through our community engagement we learned that there was a strong desire – across all groups of students, faculty, staff and alumni – for the new name to reference our place or location. Toronto Metropolitan University reflects the feedback we heard and is in line with our values and our accomplishments that define who we are as an institution.”
URAC oversaw extensive community consultations that generated responses from over 30,000 people and went on to review over 2,600 potential names. The committee produced a shortlist of names that were subject to several practical parameters including: ensuring alignment with our values, being intentionally inclusive with our diverse community, undertaking linguistic checks and trademark searches, and digital considerations.
“This is a very important moment in our university’s history as we move forward with a name that better reflects our values and can take us into the future,” said President Lachemi. “As a university, our values have long defined who we are and they will always guide where we are going. They are the basis upon which we have built our uniquely vibrant, diverse and intentionally inclusive culture. Our new name builds upon these values and, along with our 73 years of excellence and achievement, it is intended to be a name that unifies all of us – a place where all of our community members belong.”