A NEW college is set to be officially opened in York this week.

The University of York announced last year that it is naming its new college after Ugandan David Kato, a former student who was murdered and who went to the university in 2010 for six months as a Protective Fellow on the Human Rights Defenders Programme at the Centre for Applied Human Rights (CAHR).

The new college opened to students in September and will officially open at an event on Tuesday (March 14) with an event from 6.15pm to 7.30pm in Room RCH/037 in the university's Ron Cooke Hub on Campus East.

The event is open to alumni, staff, students, and the public. Admission is free but booking is required.

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David's time in York provided respite from his role in Uganda as a human rights activist, and his legacy supports the University’s continued commitment to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities (LGBT+).

He returned home to Uganda to fight the country’s controversial anti-homosexuality act. But he was murdered in Kampala in 2011, weeks after winning a court victory over a tabloid paper that called for homosexuals to be killed.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Charlie Jeffery said: “Colleges are an integral part of university life here at York and we knew we wanted an inspiring role model when naming our new college - one which would also reflect our belief in equality, diversity and inclusion.

“We are especially grateful to David’s family for working with us and supporting us in this decision. We hope that by using his name many more people will become aware of the important work he championed.”

York Press: Professor Charlie Jeffery Professor Charlie Jeffery (Image: Alex Holland)

Director of the Centre for Applied Human Rights, Professor Paul Gready said:“The naming of the David Kato College also symbolises and demonstrates our admiration of, and solidarity with, human rights defenders across the world and with all previous Protective Fellows, of which there have been over 90 from more than 45 countries over the last 12 years.

“The Human Rights Defenders programme brings defenders who risk their lives to fight global injustice and strengthen democracy to our university to share their expertise.”

David Kato College is one of two new colleges on the University’s Campus East in Heslington, the other college has already been named after scholar and Yorkshire businesswoman, Anne Lister.

The name was selected from a large list of suggestions of notable people with connections to the university and the city, which were put forward by students and staff before being confirmed by the University Executive Board.