Happy birthday to BCU – institution celebrates 25 years as a university.
It’s ‘happy birthday to BCU’ this week as Birmingham City University celebrates 25 years since securing university status.
Friday (June 16) marks the 25th anniversary after Birmingham Polytechnic became a university and was formally renamed the University of Central England on 16 June 1992.
To mark the silver anniversary, the University was presented with custom-made silver coin commemorating the occasion and designed by a graduate from Birmingham School of Jewellery, part of Birmingham City University.
The coin features the University’s £63 million Curzon Building on one side, and a graduate being presented with a scroll during a graduation ceremony on the other.
The coin’s designer, 23-year-old Katy Tromans from Stourbridge, formally handed it over to the institution to mark the occasion.
She said: “I came up with the design to show on the one hand how far we have come but also capture the graduation ceremony, which after all is why people come here and what they aim for at the end.
“It was a really fun process to make and I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to create a coin as they were one of the reasons I took up jewellery making in the first place.”
Since becoming a university the institution has opened an array of new buildings in Birmingham’s city centre and the Edgbaston area of south Birmingham.
It incorporates some of Birmingham’s historic and iconic institutions such as Birmingham School of Jewellery, Birmingham School of Art and Birmingham Conservatoire – including the former Birmingham School of Acting.
As part of the celebrations, University staff have also produced a Spotify playlist with some of the biggest hits from 1992.
Professor Graham Upton, Vice-Chancellor at Birmingham City University, said: “Becoming a university 25 years ago was an extremely important occasion for this institution and has helped usher in major changes ever since.
“Over the last two and a half decades we have seen thousands of students come through our doors to gain a valuable education, the transformation of our campuses and landmark moves such as launching Europe’s first Black Studies degree.
“We hope that over the next 25 years we will be able to continue the great work which has seen not just our institution transformed but also our city.
“To have this occasion commemorated by such a beautiful coin designed by one of our very own graduates is extremely fitting.”
Katy Tromans has produced an array intricate jewellery designs based on fairy tales after being inspired by her fascination with coins as a teenager.
Some of her other works are currently on display in the University’s Parkside Building and will be available to view by members of the public during its Open Day on Saturday (June 17).