Published: 19 May 2017

Alumni share in 50th anniversary celebrations

Surrey’s Festival of Wonder saw the University’s 50th Anniversary year end with a bang as we shared our ‘birthday party’ with alumni and local residents.

We were delighted to welcome hundreds of graduates, from across our 50 years, to our Alumni Lounge and to hear your wonderful and funny memories. We collected numerous stories, capturing your time at Surrey, the music you listened to and where your Surrey degree has since taken you.

Our mini museum showcased the University through its five decades, and alumni plotted where they now live on a large map of the world – we have graduates across the globe!

Chris Gethin, Director of Advancement, said: “It was marvellous to welcome so many of our alumni and their families on the day. It was a great opportunity look back on their time at Surrey and to also hear about their lives since leaving. There was a real buzz in the Lounge and I know that they enjoyed the many activities on campus.”

The programme of events throughout the day included presentations on everything from science and technology through to music and literature, interactive demonstrations at our Wonder Zone, interviews with celebrities and special guests, and a full twelve hours of music, dance and comedy at our beautiful lakeside stage.

Children played on bouncy castles, rode the teacups with freshly painted faces, and took part in a Mad Hatter’s tea party. Queues formed for the highly anticipated Wonder Talks and Jim Meets… series with special 50th anniversary guests - legendary actor Brian Blessed and TV vet Mark Evans.

The Wonder Talks saw the University’s best and brightest deliver bite-sized presentations on everything from space and satellites through to music and politics. The talks were highly popular, with presenters such as Supervet Professor Noel Fitzpatrick, Emmy award-winning composer Michael Price, critically acclaimed writer Monica Ali, and founding father of small satellites Sir Martin Sweeting.

Emily Newman, class of 2006, said: “We went into the Wonder Zone and we looked at the satellites and the Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal processing. They had some really cool demos. The day has been fun and also rewarding to come back as an alumna and see how the university is continually evolving. That’s a really nice feeling. It’s been reminiscent.”

“It was a really nice atmosphere in the Alumni Lounge, really informal with good networking and the opportunity to write about your memories.”

You can view just some of the events and activities on the day in our Festival of Wonder film.

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