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The Prince of Wales has recorded a special video message for Swansea University as it celebrates its centenary on 19 July.
In his message, The Prince of Wales recalled that his great-grandfather King George V had laid the foundation stone of the University College of Swansea in Singleton Park on 19 July 1920, and that one hundred years later he was “delighted to mark this very special milestone in the University’s rich history”.
From humble beginnings with 89 students and one permanent building in 1920, Swansea University is now a dual-campus University which educates more than 20,000 students from 139 countries and is recognised for its world-class research.
The Prince of Wales officially opened the University’s Bay Campus in the summer of 2016 and said that at that time he found the University “in the best of spirits and fully ready to meet the challenges of the future”, before adding: “That spirit and that readiness has now of course been tested to the full by this time of uncertainty for us all.”
The Prince praised the University’s response to the coronavirus crisis, saying: “I have been immensely heartened to hear of the hard work of the University’s students, staff and partners to support the local, national, and international community throughout the pandemic. For instance, medical and healthcare students joining the front line and providing vital support to the NHS, staff manufacturing crucial PPE and hand sanitiser for local health boards and partners, University accommodation offered to key workers unable to be at home and student volunteers working with vulnerable groups, using telephone support and online activities to keep the community connected.”
His Royal Highness went on to say that it is “entirely fitting” that funding originally allocated for the University’s centenary celebrations is now being used to support the response to Covid-19, by funding critical research projects and supporting student wellbeing at a time of hardship for many.
“These commitments reflect the University’s mission to serve its community, educate its people, tackle the global challenges of the day and provide a home and support. These are the values upon which the institution was founded in 1920, and I am delighted they remain at the heart of its mission today”, he added.
The Prince closed his message by congratulating the University on reaching its special milestone and saying: “The celebrations on this occasion are an opportunity not only to reflect on the University’s achievements and journey over the past century, but also to look to the future and to the University’s commitment to meeting the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow and beyond.”
Professor Paul Boyle, Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University thanked the Prince for his ongoing support for the University: “On behalf of the Swansea University community, I would like to thank HRH The Prince of Wales for joining us, albeit virtually, as we mark this very special occasion in our 100-year history. We are proud that our Bay Campus is one of the Prince’s Foundation for Building and Community’s flagship projects, and remain extremely grateful for His Royal Highness’s continued support.”