Happy birthday, Uppsala University!

7 October 2020

Swedish flag

On 7 October, it is 543 years since teaching began at Uppsala University in 1477. This first day of higher education in the town deserves to be remembered as the birth of academic Uppsala. The University is celebrating its birthday in various ways, including the announcement of the Alumnus of the Year 2020.

Uppsala University was founded in 1477:

In a bull issued on 27 February in response to an application initiated by Jakob Ulvsson, Pope Sixtus IV authorised the establishment of a university in Uppsala.

The university’s charter was signed in Strängnäs on 2 July by the Council of the Realm, headed by Sten Sture.

On 21 September, the papal bull was ceremonially brought to Uppsala.

On 7 October (St Bridget’s Day), teaching began at the new university.

Alumnus of the Year 2020

Jamie LeSueur
Jamie LeSueur, Alumnus of the Year 2020.
Photo: Corrie Butler/IFRC

One of the ways in which the University is marking its birthday is the announcement of the Alumnus of the Year 2020. Each year, Uppsala University awards the title of Alumnus of the Year to an alumnus or alumna who has made “an outstanding contribution to their professional field, or has accomplished something else worthy of honouring”.

The title of Alumnus of the Year is awarded this year to Jamie LeSueur, former student at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research and now global Head of Emergency Operations at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.