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Thousands attend second Sussex Community Festival

Alumni enjoying afternoon tea

A student from Robogals Sussex shows one young visitor how to programme a robot.

Sussex academics organised a number of hands-on activities to inspire visitors of all ages.

A magician was on hand to entertain visitors.

Community spirit shone through at the Sussex Community Festival on Sunday 24 June as thousands of visitors to the campus basked in the sunshine.

Around 4,000 residents and families attended the University’s second annual Community Festival and were given a taste of university life through dozens of engaging demonstrations and hands-on activities run by leading academics in their fields.

Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell said: “It has been great to see so many people come to our campus for the Sussex Community Festival. Today has been a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase all that we do here at the University and to show our commitment to playing an active role in the local community.”

There was something for everyone in the jam-packed programme. Music lovers were engrossed by special screenings of Professor Ed Hughes’ ‘Cuckmere’; wildlife lovers got a unique chance to enjoy a close-up of bees’ elaborate waggle dance; and parents lapped up expert advice from Professor Alison Pike – scientific expert on Channel 4’s ‘The Secret Life of 4, 5 and 6 Year Olds’.

With uninterrupted summer sun shining throughout the day, visitors who embarked on a campus tour or boundary walk were able to enjoy Sir Basil Spence’s unique architecture and the surrounding South Downs National Park at their most resplendent.

Scores of youngsters enjoyed their first ever visit to a university campus. There was much on offer to make it a day for them to remember, with the chance to try their hand at circus skills, classic fairground challenges such as hook-a-duck and the coconut shy, sport taster sessions and taking their teddy to the teddy bear hospital.

Alumni spanning the decades - including couples and friends who met at Sussex in the sixties - came together for a reunion over afternoon tea in Bramber House, where they were joined by Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell.

Former students added recollections of their time at Sussex to special memory boards, and were able to take in panoramic views of the most recent developments on campus from the venue's third floor balconies.

England football fans were also beaming after seeing their national team progress from the group stage of the World Cup at a special screening of the match against Panama in the Students’ Union café and bar. 

But University of Sussex student Anibal Cardenas Mosquera, believed to be the sole Panamanian living in the county, could also hold his head up high after witnessing his country’s historic first-ever World Cup goal. He was joined by a posse of honorary Panamanians cheering on the Central American minnows.

By: Tom Furnival-Adams
Last updated: Thursday, 5 July 2018