LAMPETER will celebrate the 200th anniversary of its university campus this year with a series of events.
The Foundation stone was laid for St David’s College Lampeter on the 12 August 1822; it welcomed its first students on St David’s Day 1827 and received its Royal Charter in 1828.
It is the oldest degree-awarding institution in Wales and was the beginning of the story of higher education in Wales.
On 12 August a series of special events will be held in the town and on the campus of what is now the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) to mark the bicentenary.
In establishing Wales’ first university in Lampeter, Thomas Burgess - then Bishop of St David’s - achieved what others had attempted to do for centuries before. Donations came from far and wide to establish the institution, with many contributing to its cost including King George IV.
From the seeds sown in Lampeter over two centuries ago, the university has grown and now boasts main campuses in Carmarthen and Swansea, as well as smaller hubs in Birmingham, London and Cardiff.
Professor Medwin Hughes, DL, Vice-Chancellor said: “In marking our bicentenary, we are celebrating the foundation of higher education in Wales and the role of St David’s College Lampeter in that story.
“The historic importance of two centuries of continuity of higher education opportunities for Wales cannot be overstated.
“As universities and colleges have adapted and transformed themselves, the citizens of Wales have been given continuous lifelong learning opportunities.
“Bishop Thomas Burgess and the founders of Lampeter saw the need to empower Welsh scholars through providing a university education.
“Their focus was to train Welshmen to become Anglican priests; those who would be spiritual leaders of their communities.
“The Lampeter campus has a significant international reputation in key areas of scholarship and, in particular, as a centre for the Humanities and international multi-faith and multi-cultural education.
“Over the years it has had to change and evolve in order to respond to new challenges and opportunities here in Wales and further afield.
“Today, it is an integral part of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, a dual sector University providing progression routes from entry level to doctoral studies.
“The confederation of these institutions has made them stronger and more resilient to deliver for Wales”.
Events planned so far this year, with more on the way, include a talk being held on Thursday, 24 February at the Founder’s Library in Lampeter to celebrate ‘Three Great Lampeterians.’
The talk, which will be given by Professor William Gibson of Oxford Brookes University as part of the Lampeter Society Bicentenary celebrations, will focus on the contributions to higher education of Thomas Tout, Tyrrell Green and Frank Newte.
Plans are currently being finalised for campus events on 12 August.
If you’d like to help shape how that may look and secure some free credits if we do go live then please register here.
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