Leading the celebrations is Dr. Karise Hutchinson, Provost of the Coleraine campus. Karise is a Coleraine native, studying on the campus as a teenager before returning later as a lecturer. She said:
“As we begin this 18 month programme of events, I am excited and honoured to lead the celebrations which mark 50 years of the University’s contribution to ‘my home town’. Ulster University is an anchor institution in this community- much more than a centre for academic and research excellence, it brings many positive economic, cultural and social benefits to the Causeway region.”
The celebration is not just about reflecting on past accomplishments, it is also an opportunity to look forward to the university’s future contribution.
Over the coming months, a vibrant network of ambassadors, united by their connection to the campus, will tell their unique stories of sporting endeavour, community activism and civic leadership- advocacy which has transformed the local community by raising the profile of this region at home and abroad.
Chief Executive of Causeway Coast and Glens District Council David Jackson MBE, said:
“As the civic ambassador for the Coleraine at 50 celebrations, I look forward to working with the University to build on our shared successes and develop new projects which will drive sustainable development in this region.”
Business Ambassador Frances Lundy, Managing Director of Riada Resourcing, said:
“For me, the contribution of Ulster University to the local economy is significant. Through the education of skilled, career-ready graduates, through research and knowledge exchange, the theatre and leisure facilities, the University has made a real difference to this area over the past 50 years – improving opportunities for our young people, which has helped me and many other companies in the local area grow our businesses.”
Student Ambassador Lauren Wilson said:
“Coleraine has become my second home and it is such a beautiful, thriving place to be. I have achieved so much at Ulster University, and as we mark the campus’ 50th birthday, I am delighted to be involved in representing my University. The planned events programme is for the whole community – so whether, alumni, staff, current or future student, Coleraine at 50 is a huge celebration for everyone.”
Dr Rosemary Peters-Gallagher OBE, Community and Alumni Ambassador, said:
“As an alumna and local resident, I think that the Coleraine campus of Ulster University has made a significant contribution to the wider community. During my long association with the University, I have observed its unceasing expansion both locally and internationally. This campus has forged a strong reputation for delivering high-impact research that changes lives. On a personal level, I have benefitted enormously from my time at Ulster. My degree in economics with accounting provided a firm foundation for my future career.”
The celebrations will include a wide range of events both on and off campus.
Highlights include a special breakfast event with motorcyclist Maria Costello MBE as part of the North West 200; a special broadcast of BBC Radio 4’s flagship programme 'Any Questions?' on campus, an Alumni “Early Years” reunion on campus and a Heritage Discovery weekend.