Posted on 7 October 2003
The first students lived in digs in York and walked, cycled or caught the bus to lectures and seminars at Heslington Hall or the King’s Manor. By their third and final year, the first colleges – Derwent and Langwith – had opened.
The 80 former students will return to York for a reunion dinner at the King’s Manor, hosted by the Chancellor, Dame Janet Baker, and the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Brian Cantor. The evening will mark the culmination of the University’s 40th anniversary celebrations.
The dinner will also be attended by some of the University’s first staff, including Professor Sir Alan Peacock, the founding head of Economics, and Professor Graeme Moodie, who still lives in Heslington.
After graduating in 1966, the first intake went on to pursue a variety of careers around the world. They include Patricia Renfro (née Candlin) who is now Deputy University Librarian at Columbia University, New York and Dr Linda Bilheimer (née Todhunter), Senior Program Officer of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, an organisation dedicated to providing better healthcare for Americans. For many, the dinner will be first time they have met for almost 40 years.
“I am delighted that so many of our original students will be returning to the University they helped to found,” said Dominic Boyd, the University’s Alumni Officer. “When the University first opened its doors on 9 October 1963 just 230 students registered and the colleges had yet to be built. Forty years on over 50,000 students have graduated from York and the University is one of Britain’s most successful. It is fitting that our founding students from 1963 should be invited back to join in today’s success.”