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Photo caption: A section of the HumSS building Photo Credit: Ruth Williams

“What’s in a name?” Well…

In my opinion, one of the greatest achievements the University of Reading can gloat about is hiring the first female Professor in Britain. Edith Morley was appointed in 1908 as Professor of English Language at what was then the University College Reading.

However, it seems as though I am not the only student to have found this fact so admirable. Following on a student led campaign by the Reading University Student’s Union last year, the decision has been made to name one of the University buildings in Edith Morley’s honor. According to the University of Reading Website, the HumSS building on Whiteknight’s campus is to be called the ‘Edith Morley Building’. Rather fittingly, the renaming of the HumSS building is said to be held in ‘Spring 2017, to tie in with the Edith Morley Lecture and International Women’s day’ the University website reports.

This decision is significant for two reasons. The first and most obvious reason is that this decision shows the University of Reading actively celebrates and supports the development and intellect of both men and women. Even in 1908 we as a University were as innovative as we aspire to be now. Edith Morley represents the beginning of female respect and acceptance in the world of academia. Additionally, this decision to rename the building, to commemorate and showcase the University’s talent, shows the direct power of the student voice in relation to University life. This decision stemmed from student petitioning and the support of Reading University Students’ Union (RUSU). Just like the University did when appointing Edith Morley, we have the power to create and contribute a positive change to University life. It would be right to say that the students of Reading University will have implicitly left their mark on campus life in the physical renaming of  the HumSS building to the Edith Morley building.

About Ruth Williams

A student in my third year studying English Literature.

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