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The University of Sussex

 21 November 2001 

Living memorial to student who died

A "living memorial" in honour of a University of Sussex student who died more than 20 years ago was launched this week.

The Nicola Anderson Memorial Bursary has been set up by Nicola's family to help fund Sussex students who want to carry out research projects in Africa and other developing countries.

Nicola was diagnosed with terminal cancer while studying for a degree in social anthropology and died in 1978 on her 22nd birthday. She was born in Ghana, where her father was a member of the Civil Service, and developed a passionate interest in African people and culture during her short life. Her travels took her to Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Botswana, Swaziland and South Africa.

Her mother, Mary Anderson, who now lives in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, said: "In setting up this bursary we are celebrating her life and bringing to other young people an opportunity to enjoy and discover the things that Nicola enjoyed about other cultures."

She added: "When you lose someone dear to you it takes a long time to learn to live without them. Recently we wanted to have a memorial to Nicola and we realised that a bursary is a vibrant way of doing this. It is a living memorial."

The memorial launch, which was held at the university's Falmer campus, was also attended by Nicola's two sisters, Janis and Davina, and included speeches by three of her former fellow students. Emma Shuttleworth, who now lives in Brighton, remembered Nicola as "a person brilliantly enriched by her childhood and travels in Africa".

The bursaries of 500 will be made annually to second and third year undergraduates in the school of African and Asian studies (AFRAS). Applicants will need to explain the purpose of their proposed visit and the likely outcomes in terms of personal experience, study, research and writing. Those awarded the grants will be expected to write up their experiences and meet with Nicola's family after they have completed the projects.

Dr Michael Johnson, dean of AFRAS, said: "I am very pleased that Nicola's family has chosen to do this. It's a wonderful way for us to remember a former student."

 Notes for editors 

For further information, please contact Jacqui Bealing, or Peter Simmons, University of Sussex, Tel. 01273 678888, Fax 01273 877456, or

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