A COMING-of-age milestone is being put in focus as a university looks back on its decades of achievement.
Former University of Sunderland Chancellor Lord Puttnam was joined by its serving Chancellor Steve Cram to launch an exhibition at the new Priestman Gallery on the City Campus.
The exhibition, 21 Years in Images, looks back over its history, its famous graduates, honorary graduates and staff through a 40ft timeline.
The university, which had been a polytechnic, was granted its status by the Queen in 1992, the same year Sunderland became a city, and since then it has invested £130million into its sites.
In 1994 it built the Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s, and 10 years later, redevelopment work started on City Campus.
It has gone from having around 800 students and 300 staff to more than 20,000 students and 1,600 staff. Lord Puttnam said: “During all this change, however, there is one thing that has remained constant over the past 21 years. It’s the thing that first attracted me to Sunderland – and still does – and that is the university’s wonderful philosophy that everyone with talent, regardless of background, is afforded the opportunity to benefit from a higher education.”
Steve said its ability to look ahead and prepare had helped it succeed and added: “Who knows what the next 21 years will bring, but I know Sunderland will be at the front of the queue.”