Plymouth University’s 150th anniversary celebration honoured by national award

The University was awarded Gold for Best Strategic Campaign at the annual HEIST Awards in Manchester.

The judges said the campaign “met strategic objectives and created a great legacy on a small budget”, and that it had been “inviting and inclusive”.

The 150th celebrations marked the anniversary of the 1862 founding of the School of Navigation, and were designed to both glance back at that legacy, as well as look celebrate the current standing of the University and look ahead with the launch of its new 2020 corporate strategy.

Among the events held was a series of prestige lectures and concerts; the royal opening of the Marine Building by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh; a special gathering of alumni at the House of Lords, a panoramic festival staged in Weymouth as part of the Cultural Olympiad, and the special historical campus tour on the 150th anniversary day itself. And Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park even produced a commemorative 150 drawing of his characters.

A number of initiatives were also launched, including a scholarship fund for students, the planting of rare international trees on campus, and the erection of commemorative plaques on each of the buildings celebrating the historical legacy and development of the campus.

In total, 40 high profile events were staged, which actively engaged over 50,000 people balanced across staff, students, alumni, business, educational and community partners as well as for age and gender. And Plymouth students were involved in the staging of each and every one of them.

The HEIST Gold Award came in the same week as the University was also shortlisted for two prestigious Green Gown Awards for sustainability.

The University has been shortlisted in the Courses category in respect of its Design undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, and in the Sustainability Champion category for the work of Professor Stephen Sterling.

Iain Stewart MBE, Professor of Geosciences Communication, is set to ensure the awards night in Derby is a Plymouth affair, as he will be hosting the event on behalf of organisers EAUC.