Tom Thorne: Will Always be a Ryerson Univerity Graduate


Now that Ryerson University President Mohamed Lachemi  has the name change process well underway I want to remind him that even when he changes the name, Ryerson grads don’t have to follow his unfortunate process. We can remain Ryerson grads.

Yesterday another Ryerson grad sent me an email saying he would never surrender his Ryerson grad status. Has it occurred to the name changers that some of us will simply not agree to change the name. Lachemi can change the name but why should the alumni fall into line? We can retain the Ryerson name and let the Lachemi chips fall where they may.

I like this idea. Let name changers live their world of lies about Egerton Ryerson. Let them think that their knee jerk reactions to political correctness will ultimately offer enough to build reconciliation with indigenous Canadians. Let the name changers focus on colour, race and identity. Watch as craven faculty sign petitions supporting the Lachemi process.

It is tiring to fight rampant ignorance steeped in propaganda and uncivil public acts such as pulling down paint spattered statues. This is all shocking when it happens at an institution that claims the integrity of university status.  The lack of academic rigour throughout the name change process demonstrates an institution looking for its academic way in contemporary times rife with social media instant gratifications and identity politics.

Graduates and current students have a choice. They can belong to an insecure X University mindset or they can subscribe to the solid history and reputation that Ryerson and its grads have built for the last 73 years. Frankly, it is not a choice for me. I go for the Ryerson connection. The new Lachemi name will be his to wear and will cost a lot to launch. Those resources could provide needy students with scholarships. Now a lot of hard dollars will go to a form without substance exercise.