THE University of Sussex is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its first graduation by inviting back some of the original students.

Alumni from the class of 1961 will join 3,000 new graduates at the uni’s faculty procession at Brighton Dome.

Among those attending will be Roger Daw, 71, of Seaford, who will wear the original gown from his graduation ceremony in 1964.

Mr Daw remembers his first year at university and staying in accommodation in Brighton for three pounds and 15 shillings a week.

He said: “I applied to Sussex because I liked the idea of it being a new university. It was an amazing opportunity to be in at the start.”

Mr Daw recalled the fanfare around the opening 50 years ago.

He said: “Prime ministers kept appearing, and I’d find myself sitting for lunch in the Royal Pavilion, being served asparagus and not knowing what it was.

“By the time I left, the university had hundreds of students and a growing reputation as the place to be and I had a reputation for never missing a social event.”

Among the university’s new graduates will be Alexandra Loske, who has completed a PHD course in art history.

Ms Loske, 45, of Lewes, has appeared on television programmes including the Antiques Roadshow and Fit to Rule and was interviewed by Michael Portillo for the Great British Railway Journeys series.

Last year she curated an exhibition at the Royal Pavilion, where she gives talks and tours.

Ms Loske, who is planning to teach art history, said: “I have discovered exciting travel diaries of a Brighton woman who, in the 1840s, went in search of Renaissance colour treatises in France and Italy.

“And next year I am also going to curate another exhibition at Brighton Museum, this time on exotic creatures in Georgian Britain.”

The University of Sussex ceremonies are taking place at the Brighton Dome from July 8 to July 11.