University of Sussex welcome students back for biggest-ever graduation
By: Alice Ingall
Last updated: Tuesday, 19 July 2022
This Tuesday (5 July) sees the start of the biggest-ever University of Sussex graduation, with ceremonies taking place across three weeks from 5-22 July at the Brighton Centre, on Brighton seafront. The University will be welcoming back Sussex students from 2020 and 2021, who were unable to graduate because of COVID-19 restrictions, as well as this year’s cohort of 2022 graduates. In total, over 9,684 students from 165 countries are set to attend graduation ceremonies over the coming weeks, accompanied by 26,847 guests.
With the University also celebrating its 60th year, this year’s graduands will be joining the ranks of almost 200,000 Sussex alumni who have undertaken undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the University since it first opened its doors to students in the 1960’s.
Amongst those that will be returning to Brighton to collect their certificates, is Sharon Trevillyan who finished her studies at the University in 1981 but was unable to formally graduate following a move to California. She is making a trip to the UK to participate in this year’s graduation on 20 July.
Trevillyan says of the impact that studying at Sussex has had on her life: “I have often been asked why I have been able to travel the world (130 countries), run my own business and live abroad. The answer I give is that the University of Sussex taught me to challenge the status quo.
“If you choose to live within the boundaries then do it willingly, but not as a default. For anyone graduating with me I would say Dream Big. I have exceeded any dreams I had when I walked off the Falmer campus in 1981.”
Another special moment will see a father and daughter graduate together, with the father collecting his PhD in Development Studies, which he completed in 2016, and his daughter, her LLB in Law on Tuesday 19 July.
This year’s summer graduation will also play host to another family of Sussex graduates, with parents who met at Sussex and graduated in 1990 attending the graduation of their son who will be awarded his degree in History and American Studies from the 2021 cohort, in the second week of ceremonies.
Vice Chancellor of the University of Sussex, Professor David Maguire, said of this year’s bumper summer graduation: “We couldn’t be more delighted to be welcoming back Sussex students from the past few years to a magnificent celebration of their academic success. More than that, with the past few years, it’s a hugely personal success too, with our students overcoming a set of circumstances not experienced in recent history.
“We’re incredibly proud of their tenacity and for embodying the spirit of the University of Sussex; that of kindness, integrity, courage and inclusion. And they should be too.
“Over the 60 years that the University has been in existence our alumni have gone out in the world to challenge convention; to make pivotal scientific discoveries, to establish innovative start-up companies, to develop life-changing new tech, to rally against social injustices, to educate the next generation, and so much more besides. I can’t wait to see what the 2020, 2021, and 2022 Sussex graduates go on to do.”
An esteemed group of honorary graduates, from an award-winning author and social commentator, to the former Director of the Mass Observation Archive, to female chemists credited with advancing the science around nuclear waste and ground-breaking research into the 3D structure of proteins, will be awarded honorary degrees and doctorates.
They include: author Alex Wheatle; mathematicians Dr Philip Tee, Professor Alessio Figalli and Professor Charles Martin Elliott; chemists Professor Tom Welton, Professor Dame Carol Robinson, and Professor Polly Arnold OBE; Former Director of the Mass Observation Archive, Professor Dorothy Sheridan; trade union leader Sally Hunt OBE; and historian Professor Roy Macleod.