Celebrity former students attend University of Brighton event

University of Brighton Awards night at the Cockroft Building SUS-160512-104944001
University of Brighton Awards night at the Cockroft Building SUS-160512-104944001

More than 100 student and staff award-winners had the chance to meet the donors who sponsored their awards last week at an annual University of Brighton event celebrating a wide range of academic and extra-curricular achievements.

A number of donors - including celebrity alumni such as DJ Norman Cook, author and illustrator Cressida Cowell and events promoter Harvey Goldsmith - joined University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Debra Humphris and the Mayor of Brighton & Hove, Councillor Pete West to formally recognise the achievements of all of the prize winners at a lively ceremony in the University’s Cockcroft Hall.

University of Brighton Awards night at the Cockroft Building SUS-160512-105000001

University of Brighton Awards night at the Cockroft Building SUS-160512-105000001

Thanking donors at the event Anastasiia Bondarenko, recipient of a postgraduate scholarship in International Health Promotion, said: “Without your support I could not be here. I wouldn’t be able to study at this fantastic university, to get inspiration every day from my lecturers and peers. Your contributions give the chance to people like me to go beyond their limits, to return to their countries empowered - with concepts, tools and confidence to make this world a better place.”

As one of the many donors present Gavin George (a former Business School student of the university and Chief Executive of the Laine Pub Company) told the audience why he chose to give and afterwards said: “It was very moving to hear from recipients about just how much difference the awards and the university have made to their lives.”

Harvey Goldsmith, who studied Pharmacy at the university and unsurprisingly was a very active Entertainments Officer during his student years, offered his assessment of the university’s various prize schemes: “This is a great innovation for the University of Brighton that gives students a chance to follow their dreams.”

Harvey has set up a prize to encourage and reward new ideas for student enterprises.

Another former student who has also established a new prize is Norman Cook who is supporting two prizes – one in Digital Music and Sound Arts and another in Television and Digital Media Production.

Norman spoke about how inspired he was in hearing directly from the student prize winners: “It was great to meet the students in person and hear about life at my former university today. It means a lot to me to be able to create a prize like this and help students who have shown such promise in their studies.”

Speaking on the eve of her first anniversary as Vice-Chancellor at Brighton, Debra Humphris said: “As a university we are blessed with a dedicated, diverse and passionate community of students, staff and alumni. The continued involvement of our alumni, friends and partners will be key to the university’s ongoing success.” Debra has herself funded a prize for health practitioners and was able to meet her scholar in person during the event.

Closing the event, Mayor Pete West added: “We have seen awards made that will continue to have an impact, both to individuals but also on a global scale, for many years to come and speaking as a graduate of the University of Brighton that makes me especially proud.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about the University of Brighton’s various prize schemes and how they could make a difference should contact giving@brighton.ac.uk.