Newman University formally commenced its 50th anniversary with a special Mass, led by The Most Reverend Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham, on Tuesday 13 February, marking the university's Foundation Day.
This was the first in a series of anniversary events for Newman, which was founded in 1968 and became one of the first Catholic universities in the country since the Reformation when it received full university title in 2013.
Guests from across the region joined Professor Scott Davidson, Vice Chancellor of Newman University for the event. He said: "It's incredible to look back over our evolution since we welcomed our first 182 students in 1968. 50 years on, the university is home to over 2,700 students, with graduates not just from the teaching professions but also a range of subjects across the humanities and social sciences.
"While we have plans to expand both the size and variety of courses on offer, I am conscious of the many benefits being a high-quality, smaller, specialist higher education institution brings to both students and the communities we serve. With this is mind, I am committed to maintaining the culture that makes the Newman experience so distinctive, valuing the individual and ensuring our students continue to be treated as members of vibrant, academic community, taught by the very academics who are leading research and scholarship in their fields.
"Furthermore, I am proud to be part of a Catholic university whose student body is now made up of many different faiths, and none. An institution that reflects its local community, with inter-faith dialogue being alive and well across the campus. Such dialogue is crucial to developing social cohesion, enabling students to develop an understanding of the complex issues of a globalised world, and analyse the implications of their actions, not only on their own lives but also the lives of others."
The university is also inviting past students and staff to submit their favourite stories and memories of life at Newman for inclusion in its new project, 'The Newman Heritage Collection'. The project, which also involves digitalising the university's current archive will then be displayed at key anniversary events throughout the year.
The anniversary celebrations will continue throughout the year with a series of special events, including the Cathedral's Group Choirs Festival on 24 February 2018 at Symphony Hall, Birmingham, a 'Big Alumni Reunion' in August, a special celebration of Newman's Feast Day on 9 October and various events for partner organisations, current staff and students.
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