York St John University celebrates Ripon heritage
On 30 June, York St John University will be naming a building on their Lord Mayor’s Walk campus ‘Ripon’ to acknowledge the incredible impact the Ripon College had on higher education, especially women’s education in the region.
York St John University has been at the heart of teacher training and education in York for over 175 years, and for many of those years women were educated at a separate establishment in Ripon. The two establishments were set up as teacher training colleges and both widened their offer to include other degree courses, become co-educational and eventually merge, before the Ripon campus closed in 2003. However the Ripon Training College’s contribution to women’s education is immeasurable.
“Everyone who studied there knew what a special place it was,” says former Ripon student and current Deputy Head of the School of Education at York St John’s Caroline Elbra-Ramsey. “Thousands of women, and later men, graduated from the College over its 123 years of service and, as a primary education graduate myself, I know that many of them went on to have a profound impact on children and young people all over the world.”
The celebration will take place on the afternoon of Saturday 30 June and is free to all ex-Ripon staff and students. New Wing, one of the older buildings on the Lord Mayor’s Walk Campus and one fittingly used for primary education, will be formally renamed by Vice Chancellor Karen Stanton, followed by afternoon tea, lawn games and tours of Ripon memorabilia throughout the current campus.
The University is also planning to commemorate Ripon College with a display of information boards throughout the newly renamed building and will be collecting pictures, stories, memories and any other memorabilia throughout the rest of the year. “It would be great to hear from as many Ripon alumni as possible,” says Fundraising and Alumni Manager Jessica Thompson. “We’re hoping to build up an archive and create a visual tribute to somewhere that holds a special place in so many hearts and was so instrumental in the history of education throughout Yorkshire and much further afield.”