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Founders' Day

24 October 2008

Founders Day

The 125th anniversary of the foundation of Cardiff University was celebrated on Friday 24 October with a special event in the presence of friends, supporters, staff and students.

Founders’ Day is a highlight in a year of special anniversary events that celebrate Cardiff’s research, teaching and community-related achievements over the past 125 years.  

It is also an opportunity to acknowledge the outstanding research, high quality teaching and an innovative approach to problem solving which has led to Cardiff University being recognised nationally and internationally as one of the UK’s leading universities. 

So momentous was the occasion of the opening of the University in 1883, the city’s church bells rang out all day. To mark the day of the University’s foundation, bells were rung at the city Parish of St John the Baptist Church by members of the Cardiff Students’ Bellringing Society, alongside the bells of Cardiff Roman Catholic Cathedral (also known as Cardiff Metropolitan Cathedral of St David).  A ceremonial gun firing from the lawn of Main Building by personnel from Wales Universities’ Officers Training Corps concluded the event.

Founders' Day

Director of Strategic Development Directorate, Louise Casella with Captain Ian Wright, 211 Battery, 104th Regiment Royal Artillery (Volunteers)

Vice-Chancellor, Dr David Grant said: “Today we can all look with pride upon achievements and progress across a very wide range of academic disciplines which have brought an equally wide range of benefits to individuals and society throughout Wales and in the wider world.

“We can also look to the future with confidence.  Cardiff University today is a powerhouse for research and teaching.  Our partnerships begin in our local neighbourhood but extend around the globe, touching the lives of huge numbers of people.”

Among the 6,000 staff were two Nobel Laureates, Fellows of the Royal Society and of the Royal Society of Arts. The 26,000 student population draws its members from around the world and the University’s turnover is c£400M with some 1,700 research projects in progress. 

Photographs from the Founders' Day event can be viewed at:

A video highlighting the celebrations can also be viewed at:

The anniversary year celebrations began on January 23 when the 125 logo was projected onto the front of the main building.  Festivals, exhibitions, concerts, lectures, conferences, special publications and celebratory dinners have also taken place.

These have included the University’s biggest presence to date at the 2008 National Eisteddfod, an award winning research garden at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Spring Flower Show, and a glittering Gala Concert at the Wales Millennium Centre.

Calendar of Events - More Information…