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Alumni, friends and supporters attend Chancellor’s Reception and preview of Attenborough Archive

Alumni, friends and supporters visited campus this month to attend the inaugural Chancellor’s Reception and an exclusive preview of selected items from the Attenborough Archive, which was gifted to the University in memory of former Sussex Chancellor, Lord Richard Attenborough.

Held, appropriately, in the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, the event was hosted by University of Sussex Chancellor, Sanjeev Bhaskar.

Following welcome refreshments, Sanjeev Bhaskar and Vice-Chancellor, Adam Tickell commenced proceedings. Sanjeev Bhaskar recounted with fondness and humour his first meeting with the late, great Lord Attenborough. Adam Tickell acknowledged not only the importance of the collection, so generously bestowed upon Sussex, but Lord Attenborough’s legacy of “… great courage, tenacity, kindness and humanity” as testified by the contents of the archive.

To follow, guest of honour, Lord Attenborough’s son and celebrated theatre director, Michael Attenborough, took to the stage, captivating the audience with his both moving and funny anecdotes about his father and his life’s work, all illustrated with images of items from the Attenborough Archive.

Now housed in The Keep, the purpose-built archive near to the University’s campus at Falmer, this unique collection contains thousands of as yet unseen photographs, letters, script notes and other ephemera relating to Attenborough’s personal and professional lives.

Referring to the extensive collection, Michael Attenborough said:

“This massive archive reflects my father’s breathtakingly active life; not only as a movie actor and director but also as an indefatigable fighter for human rights and social justice, through the many causes, political and charitable, he believed in so passionately.

“I hope the University, and indeed the world at large will derive huge benefit and indeed pleasure from this comprehensive and detailed record of the remarkable man I am unashamedly proud to call my father.”

Following a Q&A session, guests enjoyed a canapé reception and networking opportunity.

You can read more about the Attenborough Archive in our souvenir guide, which features an introduction written by Michael Attenborough.

Photographs from the event are available on our Flikr page.

By: Emma Wigmore
Last updated: Wednesday, 20 June 2018