20 January 2012
This year Canterbury Christ Church University is celebrating a landmark anniversary as it turns 50.
Established in 1962 as a Primary Teacher Training College on one location, with nine members of staff and 70 students, Christ Church has grown in size and reputation with nearly 20,000 students studying a wide range of subjects in Education, Health and Social Care, Social and Applied Sciences, and Arts and Humanities across a network of campuses in Kent and Medway.
To celebrate 50 years of higher education and innovation, the University has produced an exciting programme of events to mark this momentous year, with music being central to the Jubilee celebrations.
The highlight will be the opening of newly refurbished St Gregory's Centre for Music, in October. This newly renovated iconic and historic venue for music performance will offer world class facilities to be enjoyed by national and international audiences, as well as the local community. It will also enable the University to extend its future public music programme, including a new strand of professional concerts.
October will also see the opening the Sir Peter Maxwell Davies Building on the Canterbury Campus, offering a new suite of state of the art practice rooms, along with seminar and rehearsal spaces for students and staff. This will be complemented by the enhancement of lighting and acoustics in Augustine Hall, offering alternative city centre performance space.
In his address to officially launch the Jubilee year, Vice-Chancellor Professor Robin Baker CMG explained how the University was continuing a tradition for music excellence and learning dating back to the 7th century. He said: “This Canterbury site has been known as a place of learning and musical excellence since the 7th century. Under Archbishop Theodore a school was established in Canterbury. It was the first educational institution in England. It attracted students from far away and became famous for its quality of music. It is fitting that in our Jubilee year our excellent music provision will be central to the celebrations.”
Professor Robin Baker was joined by the Right Reverend Trevor Willmott, Bishop of Dover, and other prominent figures from the local community to officially launch the Golden Jubilee year on Wednesday, 18 January.
The Bishop of Dover unveiled a heritage stone on the North Holmes Road Campus to commemorate the University’s location on a UNESCO World Heritage Site, followed by a blessing from the University’s Dean of Chapel, the Reverend Dr Jeremy Law.
Professor Baker continued: “This is a spectacular moment for all connected with Canterbury Christ Church University. From our origins 50 years ago with a few staff and 70 students, to 20,000 students and being one of the largest employers in Kent – it has been an amazing journey.
“My predecessors built this institution with a culture and set of values that even today we are proud to live and subscribe to. Despite the current pressures upon us we see ourselves as a community of learning and compassion and that is what makes the University so special.
“The heritage stone shows the direction from the past to our future – an exciting 2012 and beyond.”
Other highlights for the year include a Battle of the Bands weekend in early March featuring special guests the original and local progressive rockers Caravan.
Later the same month a special performance of Mozart’s Requiem will take place in Canterbury Cathedral and in May the internationally acclaimed Sound New Festival, of which we are an artistic partner, returns to Canterbury.
The University will also open the new city centre Students’ Union and accommodation building, the St. George’s Student Centre; plant a new small orchard with traditional Kentish species on the Canterbury Campus; host an International Education Conference looking at the future of teacher education; bring together the Class of ’62 for a reunion and stage a very special treasure hunt around the city with amazing prizes. The year will finish in November with a spectacular light show that will be seen across the city.
Throughout the Jubilee year Christ Church will be supporting two charities: The Dr Somervell Memorial C.S.I. Medical College and Hospital and The Goodwill Children’s Homes, both in South India.
For more information on the Golden Jubilee and how you can join in, visit: www.canterbury.ac.uk/About/GoldenJubilee
Key events include:
3 -4 March - Battle of the Bands with Caravan
17 March - Cathedral concert – Mozart Requiem and Karl Jenkins
27 April - BBC Radio 4 ‘Any questions?’ In Augustine Hall
19 May – Alumni Celebration Day
21 May - Opening of North Holmes Road garden and Jubilee walk (mini orchard)
6 - 18 July - Education conference
12 September - Official 50th anniversary
September - Official opening of St George’s Student Centre
28 September - Cathedral service with Archbishop of Canterbury
28 September - Class of ’62 visit and The Priory Exhibition opening
5 October - Official opening of St Gregory’s Centre for Music and the Sir Peter Maxwell Davies Building
8 November – North Holmes Road light show
A brief history
•1962 - Christ Church College established - the first teacher training college founded by the Church of England in the 20th century. We opened our doors with just 70 students and nine teachers.
•Early 1970s - first degree programme, Bachelor of Education, introduced.
•1977 - first non-teacher training degrees introduced.
•Late 1980s - health-related professional courses began.
•1995 - awarded the power to grant our own degrees for taught courses, and with it came the name change to Canterbury Christ Church University College.
•1996 – purchased Salomons Centre, near Tunbridge Wells, from the NHS and created a West Kent campus.
•2000 - Broadstairs Campus formally opened by former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey.
•2004 - Medway Campus opened by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd and Rt Hon Dr Rowan Williams, at the Universities at Medway site.
•2005 - awarded full university title by the Privy Council; inauguration of Canterbury Christ Church University and the installation of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, as Chancellor.
•2007 - our 5th campus, the University Centre Folkestone, opened.
•May 2009 - our multi-million pound Christ Church Sports Centre opened.
•August 2009 - granted the power to award research degrees.
•September 2009 - Augustine House, our flagship library and student services centre, opened.
•September 2010 - Professor Robin Baker CMG succeeded Professor Michael Wright CBE as Vice-Chancellor.
•February 2011 - Professor Baker installed as new Vice-Chancellor.
•2012: our Jubilee year.
Canterbury Christ Church University
With nearly 20,000 students, and five campuses across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.
*2009/10 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey