Graduation is a global celebration at Sussex

University of Sussex graduation

The University of Sussex will mark Summer Graduation this year with a special commemoration ceremony to celebrate the founding of the University.

The commemoration will take place at the start of the first ceremony, on Wednesday 21 July, when guest-of-honour Lord Asa Briggs, the eminent historian, University founding father and former Vice-Chancellor, will address an audience of students, families and friends at the Brighton Dome.

More than 5,000 people, including 2,000 students, will be attending the five graduation ceremonies at the Dome, spread over three days and presided over by University of Sussex Chancellor Sanjeev Bhaskar.

More than 50 countries will be represented at Graduation, from Angola to Zimbabwe and from all points in between, including the USA China, India, several African nations and Afghanistan.  Family and friends unable to attend the ceremonies in person will be able to watch around the world via a live video stream hosted on the University's web site.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Farthing says: "I am looking forward to welcoming everyone to the Summer Graduation ceremonies. It really is a wonderful occasion, a coming together of cultures and nationalities united by the common bond of education. Graduation offers an opportunity to reflect on the achievements of our talented students and dedicated staff, and to thank parents, families and friends for their support.

"This year we will have the first ever commemoration ceremony to celebrate the founding of the University of Sussex nearly 50 years ago. As our graduates head off to make their own mark on the world, the University will also be looking forward to exciting new challenges and opportunities in the years ahead."

Honorary degrees will be awarded this summer to:

  • Cosmologist, mathematician and writer Professor John David Barrow FRS;
  • Geneticist and Wellcome Trust director Adrian Bird;
  • Conservationist and Chairman of the South Downs Campaign Robin Crane CBE FRES;
  • Human rights campaigner and gay rights activist Peter Tatchell.

The University will also be awarding the following members of staff with a University of Sussex Teaching Fellowship:

  • Lecturer in Philosophy Dr Andrew Chitty;
  • Special Collections Manager Fiona Courage;
  • Director of Business Engagement David Green;
  • Lecturer in Behavioural Neuroscience Dr Sarah King.

Students at the University of Sussex come from all walks of life.  Individual achievements include:

  • Tom Heritage - the third generation of his family to graduate from the University of Sussex;
  • Gemima Fitzgerald, Alison Marshall and Nadja Woodason-Zeige - mature students and friends who were part of an informal support group and who are now writing a book charting their tears and triumphs during their studies;
  • Jay James May, a former factory worker who has scooped top honours and several English prizes;
  • Daniel Amos and fellow students who changed their lives by taking the  Foundation Year in Physics;
  • International students Laura Hilger and Annika Scharbert, who helped fellow students find their feet at Sussex;
  • High-speed engineering student Daniele De Anna, one of the Formula Student Mobil 1 team who raced the car they built at Silverstone, and which will be on display at the Dome during Graduation;
  • Olympic hopeful Emily Llewellyn, who combined business studies with training with the help of a University of Sussex Sports Bursary;
  • Nicola Bamford - one of just 27 students to qualify for the University's Learning to Lead programme, and who has landed a job with Brighton e-learning company Kineo;
  • Angolan student and Brighton fan Oldemiro Sequesseque, who won a grant from the Angolan oil company to study in the UK;
  • Stephanie Sheehan and Claire Slight, whose undergraduate studies turned into fully-fledged research into some interesting developments in the South East England accent;
  • Thomas Kingston, who proved himself to be one of Britain's brightest young business brains when he won the UK final of a global business contest.


Notes for Editors

For further enquiries, interviews or photo requests, please contact Maggie Clune on 01273 678 209 or email

Graduation can be watched live online -  see:

University of Sussex Press office contacts: Maggie Clune, Jacqui Bealing and Daniëlle Treanor. Tel: 01273 678 888. Email:

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Last updated: Wednesday, 21 July 2010