Petition Closed

Name the Student Hub after Professor Mary Ryan

This petition had 829 supporters

There are no buildings in University College Cork named after women. This is, quite frankly, not good enough, especially considering the multiple buildings named after the one person (Boole), and the controversial naming of the new building in the Brookfield Health Science complex after James Watson, a scientist with a tenuous relation to UCC who has espoused controversial views relating to race and gender.

At the moment, UCC is constructing a new student hub, where the majority of student service offices will be located. The building is yet to be named, and we believe this is a perfect opportunity to remember a forgotten part of the University's history: Professor Mary Ryan.

Professor Ryan became the first female professor in any university in Britain and Ireland when she was named Professor of Romance Languages in 1909. She had a reputation for being particularly caring to her students, helping many of them to attain postgraduate qualifications in places like the Sorbonne in Paris. She also received the Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur, the highest honour a citizen can receive in France.

She was also a graduate of UCC, but did not attend any lectures here; though it wasn't illegal, women were actively discouraged from attending lectures in universities at the time, and as a student she only went to campus to sit exams. When she passed away in 1961, aged 89, her obituary was mainly concerned with her brothers, and their achievements.

UCC does relatively nothing to remember this great woman - outside of a celebration of her life in 2010, and a brief mention on a wall in the O'Rahilly Building as part of a timeline of the University, she is essentially forgotten. We, the undersigned, believe this is not good enough.

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