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DATE: 5th February
The University of the South Pacific commenced classes on February 5th 1968 on land provided by the Government of Fiji at Laucala Bay. Fifty years later, to the day, His Excellency, Major General (Ret’d) Jioji Konusi Konrote, President of the Republic of Fiji launched the 50th Anniversary celebrations of the University at the Laucala Bay Campus. In 2018 USP again commenced classes on February 5th, a fitting tribute to fifty years of continuing delivery of educational excellence by perhaps the world's leading regional university.
Stakeholders from across the University’s community joined current students and staff to mark the first of 50 events which were conducted throughout 2018. Across all USP campuses throughout the Pacific, these events not only showcased the journey that the University has travelled throughout those fifty years, but also recognised the individuals and organisations who have contributed to the progress of USP along the way. But perhaps most importantly, the 50th Anniversary provided opportunities for former students and staff to reconnect or strengthen their existing relationship with the University and continue to contribute and influence its future. The 50th Anniversary also became a milestone year in the establishment of new corporate and organisational partnerships and a strategic direction that will help to propel USP into the next 50 years.
Immediately following the Launch, the Australia Pacific Lecture Theatre at the Laucala Campus was the scene for the opening of a time capsule interred by the Australian Government in 1997. Jointly the President of Fiji and the Australian High Commissioner oversaw the recovery of the time capsule which was sealed by the then Australian Foreign Minister, Hon. Alexander Downer and the then Acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Rajesh Chandra to mark the commencement of construction of the Australia Pacific Lecture Theatre. With its lecture theatres, performance spaces and tutorial rooms, this building has assisted with the delivery of quality education to thousands of students since its completion in 1998.