News story

Celebrating 50 years at home in Guildford

The bells of Guildford Cathedral rang out on 9 September 2016 to mark the beginning of the University of Surrey’s 50th Anniversary year, celebrating half a century of calling Guildford ‘home’.

The University’s royal charter was signed in 1956, establishing the University in Guildford from its roots in Battersea, London. Exactly 50 years later, bells pealed across Battersea and ended their journey in Guildford to signify the University’s move from its beginnings in South London to its home in Surrey. The bells were fittingly rung by Surrey Bell Ringers, a proud and historic society of Surrey alumni and local residents.

Celebrations continued in the heart of Guildford on Saturday 22 October 2016 with The Anniversary Procession and Thanksgiving Ceremony, taking place 50 years to the day since the inauguration of the University’s first Chancellor. A procession of robed students, staff, alumni and special guests took to the cobbles of Guildford High Street, adorned with banners and brought to life by the waving of blue and gold flags, and made their way up to Holy Trinity Church. A number of activities were laid on throughout the day for local residents and spectators, who came to celebrate the University’s strong connection, proud history and special relationship with its home town.

Other events throughout the University’s 50th Anniversary year have included fun and educational activities and competitions throughout Guildford and in local schools.

In the 50 years since setting up home on Stag Hill, the University has been warmly welcomed as part of the local community in Guildford. Its staff and students are involved in the local community in a number of ways, from volunteering and charitable work, through to widening participation and outreach activities in local schools. The University looks forward to continuing to grow the breadth of its local impact and the strength of its relationship with its home town.

Residents of Guildford and the surrounding area are warmly invited to join the University as it ends its 50th Anniversary celebrations with a bang, in the form of a ‘birthday party’ event this summer. The University of Surrey Wonder Festival, on Saturday 13 May 2017, will include a whole host of fun and free activities, including science demonstrations, music and dance performances, sports activities, hands-on workshops and special guests such as national treasure Brian Blessed, renowned soap actors Emma Barton and Ian Kelsey, and legendary sports commentator John Inverdale.