With its foundation stone laid by W E Gladstone in 1877, Nottingham College finally opened its doors in 1881. It was to expand rapidly in the period following the First World War, until overcrowding presented a real problem. A generous benefactor’s donation of 35 acres of land at Highfields proved the solution and the move to the new premises built on this site was made in 1928. Opened by King George V, it was to see many more luminaries treading its halls.
University College, Nottingham played host to many visiting lecturers, among them Albert Einstein, who in 1930 gave a lecture on his new theories of relativity. Part of the blackboard, as well as the chalk he used are still preserved in the archives at Nottingham University. Other famous visitors included Mahatma Gandhi and in 1934, the novelist, HG Wells. Receiving a royal charter in 1948, Nottingham College became Nottingham University, giving it the status to award its own degrees. During this period a merger with the Midland College of Agriculture saw the School of Agriculture become part of the curriculum at Nottingham University. In 1970 the UK’s first medical school of the 20th century was established here and in 1995 the school of nursing was formed after a merger with the Mid-Trent College of Nursing and Midwifery. Added to these, Nottingham University now has the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, opened in 2007. It continues to grow, with its various colleges offering studies in most fields of education. including the King’s Meadow Campus which focuses on the visual media.
Nottingham University as attracted many accolades and awards over the years, not only for its environmental awareness, but also for its active interest in the welfare of its students. The Nottingham University museum which houses over 250 000 artifacts was named Nottinghamshire Heritage Museum of the Year in 2010. More recently its Nightline service won the ‘Best New Initiative’ award for its invaluable service to students during the stressful exam times. With this kind of care and committment, Nottingham University is well deserving of its mention among the world’s top 30 universities.