The woman credited with leading the development of higher education in Hastings has been made an Honorary Fellow by the University of Brighton.
Margaret Wallis joined the university in 1989 as a lecturer and four years later was appointed the founding Director of the University Centre Hastings, now the University of Brighton in Hastings.
The aim was to establish a campus in Hastings and attract and encourage participation in higher education in the local area.
Under her leadership, the number of students has grown from 40 to almost 1,000 today.
Margaret said: The community fought hard to develop Hastings as a university town and we have some amazing supporters who have stood shoulder to shoulder with the university, including the academies, the college, the council and the NHS.
“As partners we worked together on many projects including working to raise the finance to save the pier from the ashes of a devastating fire in 2010.”
Margaret made special mention of Cllr Jeremy Birch, who died in May. She said: “He was one of the key instigators of the Hastings campus and is a tremendous loss not just to the town but to the wider Sussex region.”
Professor Stuart Laing said: Setting up a new campus was a daunting task but students, staff, the community and local people have made Hastings a byword among universities for how to achieve success in such a venture.
He said: “And no single individual has contributed more to the success than our new university Fellow Margaret Wallis.”
Before retirement in 2013 Margaret was a member of the university’s Board of Governors.
Margaret currently is a Director of the Hastings Academies Trust. She received her award in recognition of her major contribution to the University of Brighton and the development of the Hastings Campus.
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