UNISON’s University of Southampton branch have launched a petition calling for the University’s new teaching and learning centre to be named after comedian, political activist and former alumni Jeremy Hardy.
Best known for his sharp satirical wit, which most often could be heard on Radio 4 comedy programmes, the former Modern History and Politics student (pictured below) died of cancer aged 57 at the start of February.
The petition to name the new Teaching and Learning Centre after him – the “Jeremy Hardy Teaching and Learning Centre” – was launched by UNISON rep Adrian Dolby and declares:
…Jeremy represented all that is wonderful about the University of Southampton and its academic mission. As one of our greatest alumni, he deserves to be celebrated.
The opening later this year of the new Learning and Teaching Centre presents a perfect opportunity to do just that.
Tributes to Jeremy Hardy following his passing poured in from far and wide, including from Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who described him as ‘a lifelong friend’, and BBC North America editor Jon Sopel, who reminisced about his time with Jeremy Hardy as a contemporary at the University:
So sad to hear of the death of #JeremyHardy – We were at university together and I was President of the Union, where he ripped into my many shortcomings with deadly humour, great adroitness and huge charm. No surprise he went on to become so popular and such a star #RIPJeremy
— Jon Sopel (@BBCJonSopel) 1 February 2019
The new Teaching and Learning Centre is expected to open later this year. The University’s current plans are to call the centre the Centenary Building, in honour of the University’s (or more accurately, its forerunner Hartley College) 100th year of being on Highfield Campus. However, it’s not unheard of for University buildings to be named after individuals. For example, the Mitchell Building which hosts the University’s wind tunnel is named after RJ Mitchell, who played a leading role in the development of the Spitfire aircraft in the Southampton area.
To view the petition, previously hyperlinked at the beginning of this article, click here.