On Saturday 8 June a group of 25 class of 1969 Chelsea College graduates met to celebrate 50 years since leaving the university. They gathered in a classroom on Hillbrow campus where they had the opportunity to catch up and reminisce over a cup of coffee. The room was set up with displays of photographs from 1967-69 and the cloaks and swimsuits worn by Chelsea students at the time. One particular highlight was when Annemarie Burgher recognised herself in a couple of the black and white photographs of synchronised swimmers.
After a quick introduction from the alumni team, Fiona Smith (Principal Lecture: Sport & Service Management and Chelsea alum 1983) gave a talk about how the course and the university has changed in the last 50 years. She discussed which aspects they would find very similar to when they were studying and other things that are very different for modern students. The group were very surprised about the relatively small number of teaching hours compared to when they studied the course.
Next, Fiona escorted the group to the dance studios where they enjoyed two dance performances: one male group and one female. The graduates and the students then had the opportunity to chat to each other about their different experiences of studying at the University of Brighton.
Fiona and the students then gave the ladies a tour of the facilities, who stopped to do some headstands and cartwheels in the gymnasium which they recognised from 1969! We rounded off the morning with group photographs in the sports centre and the graduates headed out for a well-deserved celebratory lunch!
The group are very proud of their Chelsea education and were very complimentary about the performances from the students and the modern facilities they enjoy.
Jane Tearle who was one of the organisers of the event and instrumental in getting the group together said
“Thank you so much for the College morning. I think being in Eastbourne made it special for our 50th and being able to look around our old haunts and see the buildings.. some similar some changed.. but it rooted us back to 1966-69!
A big thank you to Fiona too, updating us on present day courses as well as maintaining the ethos of what we remember as ‘Chelsea’ was very encouraging!
The dance performances were wonderful please pass on our thanks to the lovely students. We were so pleased they accompanied us a round ‘their school’..and we wish them well for their futures in education.”
If you would like to organise a reunion for your class, do get in touch by email on firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help you out!