The University’s ninth college will be named “Constantine College”. It is expected to open its doors to students next year.
Constantine was declared Emperor of Rome in 306AD and ruled for 31 years. The Emperor played an influential role in the proclamation of the Edict of Milan, which decreed religious tolerance throughout the empire. He was also the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity.
Constantine came to Britain with his father, the emperor Constantius, in 305AD. Constantius died in July the following year in York, enabling his son to succeed him. The Emperor left York and establisher Trier as his base for campaigns a year after his succession.
However, the new college’s namesake lived a life not without scandal. He had both his wife Fausta, and eldest son Crispus, killed after it was commonly believed that the Empress Fausta was either in an illicit relationship with Crispus, or was spreading rumours to that effect. Constantine would later erect a golden statue of his son as a sign of remorse and regret.
Dr Jane Grenville, Deputy Vice Chancellor gave her reasons for supporting the name: “There are two reasons. To date, we have not celebrated the Roman origin of the city and Constantine, declared Emperor here in 306AD, was undoubtedly the most significant historical figure associated with the city in its entire history. He converted to Christianity and ensured religious toleration in the Roman Empire. Without him, the course of European history would have been COMPLETELY different. And he’s a Yorkie! We’ll have Constantine to rhyme with line not lean.”
Kallum Taylor, YUSU President, wrote in his blog: “Personally I think it’s a really interesting choice which I’ve definitely not heard thrown around previously. I’ve heard of Cantor, Dyke and Deramore College being suggested, along with a few slightly more questionable suggestions… But this is a bit of a curveball! A very good one though. Still can’t imagine the Constantine College Football 2nds on a cold Wednesday afternoon in January doing battle on a boggy 22 acres though!”
In reaction to Nouse asking Taylor to speculate over potential colours and mascots for the College, Taylor said: “We’re a little stuck for choice on the colours aspect now, and unless the other colleges are willing to share a little, then I can’t see beyond orange, brown, grey and pink. The mascot should be a costume replication of Constantine himself. It would be quite amusing to see that marauding around Hes East.”