The 50th Anniversary was an opportunity to reflect on our success, thank our supporters and celebrate our future. Here are some of the key events from our Anniversary year.

50th Anniversary celebration

An evening event at York Minster celebrated the dynamic partnership between the University and the City, and showcased the strong musical tradition of the University.

York Festival of Ideas

Festival of Ideas logo

The 2013 Festival ran from 13 to 29 June with the theme North and South, and hosted a range of exciting speakers, concerts, performances and community events.

Film competition

Schools and Colleges Film Competition

During the LUMA Film Festival, part of the York Festival of Ideas, school and college students were invited to produce films on the theme of North and South. 

Anniversary Celebration Weekend

York's alumni, retired staff and guests were invited to return to York for the celebration weekend from 21 to 23 June. Our international partners and graduates are also celebrating at 50 alumni events around the world.

Graduation ceremonies

We celebrated our students' achievements at graduation ceremonies in York in January and July, and Beijing in March.


The annual York-Lancaster sports challenge came back to York in 2013. York won, scoring 180.5 points to Lancaster's 105.5. As well as staff and student events, teams of alumni competed for competition points.

Community fireworks night

Fireworks by

The University celebrated with residents from Badger Hill and Heslington at a community fireworks night on 5 November.

Royal Academy of Engineering Summer Soirée

Royal Academy of Engineering Summer Soiree

From 22-26 June, the University hosted the Royal Academy of Engineering Summer Soirée, including an exhibition open to the public about how engineering research influences lives and is helping to solve a range of global challenges.

Staff garden party

Staff garden party

The University hosted a garden party for all staff on Wednesday 17 July, part of a summer of events which has also included an Alumni Celebration Weekend and the 2013 York Festival of Ideas.

Departmental events


Education student

The Department of Education held lectures and workshops under the banner of 50 Years of Education at York. The celebrations also included a departmental birthday party with tea and cakes for students and staff, past and present.


Alcuin East Wing Teaching Block

As part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations, the Department of Economics hosted a Game Theory Symposium and RES-York Summer School in June, organised by Dr Yuan Ju.


Biology lab

As part of the Alumni Homecoming Weekend, the Department of Biology held a Colloquium featuring talks from prestigious graduates.


Archaeology students

The Department of Archaeology's research successes and their public impact were celebrated in an exhibition at the King's Manor from 1 July to 1 October 2013.