University of London Gifts Birkbeck with Bicentennial Commemorative Scroll


In 2023, Birkbeck celebrated its 200th anniversary, reflecting on its remarkable history and the pioneering spirit of its founders, who sought to make education accessible to all. The institution’s bicentenary was a time to honor its diverse and vibrant community and its impact over two centuries.

As part of the commemoration, a special event was held on Thursday, 7 March, where a commemorative scroll was unveiled and presented by Professor Wendy Thomson CBE, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of London, to Professor Sally Wheeler OBE, Birkbeck’s Vice-Chancellor.

The event occurred at Birkbeck’s main Malet Street building, bringing together staff and students from Birkbeck and the University of London.

University of London, Gifts Birkbeck (Credits:

During her speech, Sally Wheeler highlighted Birkbeck’s long-standing membership in the University of London, spanning over 100 years.

She expressed pride in the institution’s evolution, noting the recent expansion of educational offerings to include daytime provision. Sally also emphasized Birkbeck’s investment in Hyflex technology, which allows students to engage in in-person and remote lessons, offering greater flexibility in learning.

Wendy Thomson also spoke at the event, commending Birkbeck’s commitment to providing flexible and part-time higher education to students of all ages. She praised Birkbeck’s mission and its enduring impact on the world.

The commemorative scroll unveiled at the event featured a quote from Ramsay MacDonald, a former Prime Minister and Birkbeck alumnus, written in 1924.

The quote reflects MacDonald’s appreciation for Birkbeck’s role in providing access to education and opportunity without barriers of race or nationality.

The bicentenary celebration was a momentous occasion for Birkbeck, honoring its rich history and the transformative impact it has had on countless lives.

As the institution looks ahead, it remains committed to its founding principles of inclusivity and accessibility in education.

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