I have been thinking a bit recently about what names we choose to give to educational establishments. It was prompted I guess by Radegund Hall at Coleridge Community College. Was it after the road or the pub ("Radegund Road" "Radegund Arms" etc)? Or was it after the saint? And, if so, did I think that was a bit non-multicultural?
Answer was, no I didn't.
Lets leave aside the fact that -- much as I admire Nelson Mandela's achievements and lessons for us (who couldn't?) -- I have got a bit fed up with the "Mandela Halls" springing up all over the country. Something of a band wagon effect I can't help thinking. That "Radegund" reference goes right to the heart of women's power in the early Middle Ages, and brings back to the attention of generations of school students a wonderful and feisty role model who isn't often remembered (she needs her hall, Mandela probably doesnt).
Anyway just as I was reflecting on this, I discovered that the University of York is intending to call its new college, "Constantine College", after the Roman ruler proclaimed emperor there in 306 AD.
At this point I began to feel a bit iffy.