Gongs and greats

From a host of renowned honorary graduates to celebrity Chancellors and Nobel Prize winners, we've attracted some great people to Sussex over the last 60 years. See our timeline of achievements below.

First graduation takes place in Refectory House. Leonard Woolf, Dame Marie Rambert and actor Albert Finney are the first honorary graduates.
Renowned historian Asa Briggs appointed as Vice-Chancellor.

Richard Attenborough’s Oh! What a Lovely War was released, featuring Sussex students as extras, including novelist Ian McEwan.


Sussex is featured in a film made by the Foreign Office, Portrait of a People, to promote Britain abroad (see Focus magazine). The world's first transatlantic email is received in the Richmond Building during a conference.

Professor John Cornforth is awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Sussex graduate Brendan Foster competes in the Montreal Olympics, winning Bronze in the 10,000 metres.

Steven Spielberg pledges to donate proceeds from the Oscar winning film Schindler’s List to the University’s Centre for German-Jewish Studies

1996 Professor Harry Kroto awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.


Richard Attenborough installed as fourth Chancellor. Eminent biologist John Maynard Smith awarded Crafoord Prize.

First Holocaust Memorial Day event on a university campus. Professor Anthony Leggett wins the Nobel Prize for Physics

Sanjeev Bhaskar OBE installed as fifth Chancellor. Sussex shortlisted as University of the Year.

UK’s University establishes first Centre for the Study of Corruption. Professor Winfried Hensinger publishes the first quantum computer blueprint.


Sussex tops league for Development Studies for fifth consecutive year.

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