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Welcome to Warwick Connect: 50th anniversary edition

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vcWhat makes the University of Warwick a visionary place?

At the age of 50, the University of Warwick is now one of the most distinctive voices within British higher education and, increasingly, a force to be reckoned with on the global stage.

As we head towards our 50th anniversary celebrations and the final year of Professor Sir Nigel Thrift’s nine-and-a-half-year tenure as Vice- Chancellor, we sit down with him to discuss what makes Warwick a ‘visionary’ place – in prime position to imagine and embrace the future.

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FoIImagining the future

How do you celebrate a milestone like a 50th anniversary? Reunions? Parties? Tree planting? Or something more creative? As a Warwick graduate you’ll know we never do the obvious or the straightforward. That’s why when we began planning our 50th anniversary celebrations, we decided to take things in a different direction. An innovative direction.

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DataBig data, big plans

In February 2015 we announced that Warwick had been picked with Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and UCL to be one the universities that will lead the establishment of the prestigious £42m Alan Turing Institute for Data Science. This means our researchers will be at the forefront of the UK’s approach to big data.

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cultural valueDriving force

Warwick has had a close relationship with the automotive industry since before it even opened. This link with the automotive industry has been a constant factor during our first 50 years and going forward it remains stronger than ever. These links were recently illustrated by the announcement that Warwick will be a key partner in the new National Automotive Innovation Centre, which will be built on campus.

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cultural valueThe future of cultural value

Warwick truly values arts, culture and creativity. It’s a thread that has run through our DNA over the past 50 years. However importantly we view the arts, culture and creativity, it’s an unfortunate fact that they are constantly
under threat. That’s why we put our energies into investigating the social
and economic value that they bring to Britain.

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tony_wheeler_-_blue.jpgFirst impressions

When we look at the University today with its thriving campus and numerous developments, it is hard to imagine that Warwick was just a new-born ‘baby’ 50 years ago. As a current student caller, Ann Yip has heard countless stories of the University in the past, but the story behind the creation of the University was something that she had never come across – that is, until she spoke to Tony Wheeler (BSc Engineering 1965-69), one of the first ever Warwick students, who enrolled in the first 1965 intake and who later became the founder of Lonely Planet books. In this interview Ann contrasts her experience with those of Tony’s generation 50 years ago.

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Golden GateWarwick in California

At the opening of the University of Warwick in 1965 the Illustrated London News ran a profile which featured interviews with Jack Butterworth, the new Vice-Chancellor, and a number of the founding professors. In the article the Vice-Chancellor spoke of his dream of “a university of international repute” and of sending Warwick to the rest of the world. In our 50th anniversary year we have taken this further than he could ever have imagined, yet we can still see a through-line which builds on his early ambitions. In February of 2015 the University announced plans to investigate the possibility of developing a new campus in northern California.

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campusCampus past, present and future

Memories of student life are very much influenced by the campus around us. Alumni from the 1960s often cite memories of mud and building sites, from the 70s they might remember the construction of the Arts Centre, whilst 21st century alumni will probably remember the completion of the Mathematics and Statistics building and the new Teaching and Learning Centre.

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futureInto the future

Did you know that Warwick can help you long after you've finished your studies? At Warwick we make a concerted effort to play a role in the lives of our alumni long after graduation. Social media and the internet have created some amazing opportunities for engaging with graduates that we couldn’t have imagined five years ago.

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Benefactors£73 million raised: countless lives changed

To celebrate Warwick’s 50th anniversary we set ourselves an ambitious target of raising £50 million to address local and global challenges. This autumn we’re delighted to announce that with your help we’ve raised over £73 million to support students, improve healthcare and help communities in Warwickshire and across the globe.

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meansWhat Warwick means to me

As it's our 50th anniversary, we asked alumni to tell us what Warwick means to you. You can read some of the submissions here.

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