11 May 2004

Alumni celebrate 175 years of Medicine at Sheffield

Medical graduates meet outside Firth Court

On Saturday 24 April, 80 medical graduates and staff came together for a special reunion to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the University of Sheffield Medical School.

The event was hosted by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bob Boucher, and the Dean of the Medical School, Professor Tony Weetman. On arrival at Firth Court, guests enjoyed a buffet lunch – which, as an added bonus, was able to be eaten alfresco because of the glorious weather.

The afternoon saw a series of talks on a wide range of topics related to medicine at Sheffield. In addition to presentations by the Vice-Chancellor and the Dean of the Medical School, the audience gained an insight into what it is like to be a medical student today, thanks to an entertaining presentation by Tom Ashley-Norman, outgoing President of the Student Medical Society. Guests also heard from two of the Medical School’s award-winning members of staff – Professor Richard Eastell and Professor Nigel Bax – on how Sheffield's research and teaching are now attracting national and international recognition.

One of the undoubted highlights of the day was a talk given by one of our oldest and most distinguished medical graduates. Professor Frank Ellis, OBE, will celebrate his 100th birthday in 2005, the same year as the University celebrates its Centenary. He gained no less than four degrees from the University of Sheffield (the first one in 1927) and gave a fascinating talk in which he shared some of his earliest memories of the Medical School. These included working with Sir Edward Mellanby and Alderman J G Graves.

Professor Weetman, Professor Ellis and Tom Ashley-Norman

The reunion concluded with a champagne reception and a Black Tie dinner in Firth Hall, at which the guest speaker was Professor Sir John Lilleyman, Medical Director of the National Patient Safety Agency. We were very pleased that alumni from 1950 and 1956 attended the event in such numbers that they were able to form a table each. During dinner, music was provided by the Pisgah Ensemble, a student string quartet who are rapidly and deservedly acquiring an excellent reputation throughout Sheffield. The dinner was a convivial and relaxed ending to a very enjoyable day.

This event was the first of its kind to be organised by the Development and Alumni Relations Office, which plans to hold more events like this in the future.