posted on Nov. 14: University Centre name narrowed to three choices


Will the new University Centre carry the name of the first McMaster student who died in a world war, reflect an alumni legacy, or honour the thousands of students who have supported the project for the last 20 years?

The Ad Hoc Committee on University Centre Naming has chosen three possibilities from 45 different suggestions proposed by 72 submitters.

The finalists are: The B.F. Trotter Student Centre, The (McMaster) Student Legacy Centre and The McMaster University Student Centre.

The Student Representative Assembly (SRA) will vote Nov. 26 for one of the three names forwarded by committee. The winning name will be forwarded to the Board of Governors in December as the choice of the students.

“We're definitely pleased with the response,” said Marc Marzotto, McMaster Students Union president and chair of the naming committee.
“They came from students which we love to see and a broad base of the McMaster community such as alumni. It's good to have a historical perspective.”

The $33.2-million University Centre, which is under construction, is slated to be finished in August 2001.

The committee used three criteria when selecting the final three candidates:

  • The name must embody the spirit and function of the building
  • The name must be both unique and timeless
  • The name must be marketable, both on and off campus.

The three finalists (in no particular order) are:

The B.F. Trotter Student Centre

Bernard Freeman Trotter was a student between 1910 and 1915. While pursuing his Bachelor of Arts degree, he was actively involved in campus clubs and literary activities and was also engaged in officer training in the COTC. In March 1916, at the height of the First World War, he left for England and assumed his post as lieutenant with the 11th Battalion of the Leicestershire (Pioneer) Regiment on the Western Front. He was killed in action on May 7, 1917 at the age of 26. He was the first McMaster student to die in a world war. His legacy is his poetry, published posthumously in 1917 under the title A Canadian Twilight and Other Poems of War and of Peace.

B.F. Trotter could have been any student at McMaster University through the years. His short but eventful life personified the spirit, values and pursuits, both curricular and extracurricular, of the student body both in earlier times of war and today. His achievements as a poet set a standard by which his McMaster successors may well be judged. The University Centre project is the result of countless students who have contributed selflessly to the fabric of the campus and the university but will never be formally recognized or named.

The (McMaster) Student Legacy Centre

The word legacy is defined as “something that is handed down or remains from a previous generation or time.” The defining aspect of the University Centre has been the unselfish way in which students who will not be the prime beneficiaries of the UC have supported the project. The UC is the physical manifestation of the generosity of tens of thousands of people. More than two decades of full-time undergraduate students and years of part-time students have supported the project and through it, the students of the future. In essence, these selfless contributors, too numerous to honour individually, have left behind a legacy to McMaster and its future students.

People from every aspect of campus life have come together to make this building possible; future generations of students and other building users should be reminded daily of the legacy of generosity they inherit. The (McMaster) Student Legacy Centre will be an important part of the University experience for many generations and maybe future students may be inspired to follow the footsteps of their predecessors and leave a legacy of their own.

The committee was indifferent as to whether or not “McMaster” should precede the name; therefore, if this name is selected, the decision has been left to the SRA.

The McMaster University Student Centre

The generic name University Centre has been adopted as the name for this building since its inception. However, the impetus for the UC is largely student-driven and more than 70,000 undergraduate students will contribute the majority of funding during a 20-25 year period. This outstanding and unprecedented contribution by students deserves prominent recognition.

At the same time, incorporating both the words “university” and “student” in the name recognizes the contribution of all three founding partners: McMaster Students Union, McMaster Association of Part-time Students and McMaster University. The beauty of this name is in its simplicity: there is no question about the purpose or function of the building, yet it remains generic in that it does not single out any one donor or contributor to the building.