There were cries of joy and emotional reunions when York St John University welcomed nearly four hundred alumni to Lord Mayor’s Walk to celebrate the university’s historic connection to Ripon College. The event opened with a ceremony to rename New Wing, home to the university’s primary teaching classrooms, as ‘Ripon Wing’ to honour the incredible contribution the college, its students and staff made to Higher Education, especially teacher training, for over one hundred years.
Founded in 1862, Ripon College initially trained female teachers and was soon known for the high quality of its graduates. The first men were admitted over one hundred years later, and a decade after that the college combined with York St John and began to offer a range of degrees in other subjects, although teacher training remained integral to the College. It closed in 2001.
“We know what an incredible contribution Ripon College made to women’s education, to teacher training regionally and nationally, and to the university today and knew we had to publicly acknowledge that contribution,” said Vice Chancellor, Professor Karen Stanton. "And we were delighted that so many proud Ripon College graduates could join us here today to celebrate just what a special place it was.”
Graduates aged from thirty five to ninety five enjoyed afternoon tea and lawn games whilst catching up with old friends and making new ones. They were especially delighted to hear that the university is planning to award Honorary Bachelor of Education degrees to Ripon College, York St John’s College and Ripon and York St John’s graduates who achieved Certificates of Education (Cert Ed). If you, or someone you know, received a Certificate of Education before 1980, find out if you might be eligible for an honorary degree by calling 01904 876741, visit www.yorksj.ac.uk/certed or email firstname.lastname@example.org.