On Thursday night the Durham Students’ Union Assembly voted to support naming the 17th Durham college after Mo Mowlam.
Mo Mowlam is best remembered for her role in creating the Good Friday Agreement, as a North-east-based Member of Parliament during the late twentieth century. Mrs Mowlam was Northern Irish Secretary under Tony Blair when the Good Friday Agreement was made.
Last year the University upset many within the student body by suggesting the college be named after the most generous benefactor, leading to a petition by the Students’ Union.
The ‘College McCollegeface’ Campaign was launched to oppose the issue. Previous SU President Megan Croll also led an open letter to the university to demand reconsideration, signed by 40 of Durham’s elected student representatives.
Mowlam attended Durham University as a member of Trevelyan College, where she studied Anthropology and Sociology.
Thomas Pymer proposed the motion, stating “I know at the end of last year we had a motion proposed with a list of names. I’m proposing we officially take her up and say that our next college should be named after her because frankly it’s disgraceful that we have so few colleges named after women.
“We’re talking about the mother of the Good Friday Agreement. She did that whilst suffering from a brain tumour. So I know that we’ve got a long list of names, but I believe that if we rally behind a single name, we go together to the University and ask them to name it after her, she will be a real inspiration.”
The new College is expected to open in 2020, with accommodation for 500 students.