The 60th anniversary of the founding of the University is a particularly special moment of reflection and celebration for current staff and students, our alumni and the communities of which we are a part. I take great joy in the fact that at Essex we are a community that understands where we have come from, as well as where we are aiming to go – and that this a source of strength to us. 

In his 1963 Reith Lectures, ‘A University in the Making’, our founding Vice-Chancellor commented that in the early part of the 21st century, few will know anything of the bustle and bewilderment of the nineteen-sixties, and the hopes and ideals which those associated with the University’s foundation cherished. In our diamond jubilee year, I hope that the founders of our University would take great pleasure from the extent to which we continue to believe in the ground-breaking principles on which Essex was founded: 

  • an equal commitment to research and education, with a tradition that good teaching really matters
  • a concern not just with the pursuit of learning but with the fulfilment of lives, where living matters as much as learning
  • recruitment of students on the basis of potential as well as prior achievement
  • and a university that is freer, more daring, more experimental.

But we are also a University for our time: we live in the present and care about the future. Sir Albert Sloman said that our generation would judge our collective success by the extent to which the University meets the needs of our time, by our distinction as a university for our world. These ideas are central to our 60th birthday celebrations and over the next two academic years, through to July 2025, we will celebrate our impact and the positive change that we have made, locally and globally. So, for our 60th anniversary celebrations we will reflect on the University as the place “Where change happens 1964 - 2024”. 

During our diamond jubilee we are creating a wide range of opportunities to celebrate all that is wonderful about Essex, from local events, to conferences in the capital and from lectures to parties and celebrations like our annual summer reception. More information will be shared throughout the coming year.

Soon you will see our 60th campaign come to life across our campuses and throughout our communications. You will find more information on what to expect and how to engage with the campaign on this blog, Bringing our 60th anniversary to life.  

I look forward to celebrating this remarkable anniversary together.