Even the newer, redbrick universities have their traditions, and our next stop was the University of East Anglia, for University Court 2012.
This wasn't an 'official visit', although the event is an opportunity for the 'great and the good' of Norfolk and Suffolk to mingle with the academic establishment. However, both Ros and I did our degrees there, and so we were amongst the relatively small group of alumni present.
The event is formally intended to hear the financial report and to receive a presentation on the work of the University over the past year, and I have to admit that I was quite impressed by the prudent approach taken to financial management and planning.
UEA now has an annual turnover in excess of £200 million, and has generated a surplus in recent years. They are generally rather conservative in terms of risk analysis, and outturns tend to be better than budgeted figures.
There followed three presentations, one from the new Director of the Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts, one from the Head of Chemical Sciences and the last from a group of history students producing an oral history of the University - UEA celebrates fifty years of its opening next year.
Afterwards, there was mingling over drinks and canapes in the Sainsbury Centre. The exhibition was open for viewing, and so we took the opportunity to browse the exhibit on Japanese Manga and animation - worth a look if you're in the Norwich area. We did appear to be in a very small minority, perhaps because the free drinks were very sensibly kept away from the exhibitions, but it did seem a pity.
It was a good event though, and reassuring for alumni like ourselves that the old alma mater is in good hands. And, if the dates suit, we'll be back next year, for the fiftieth birthday celebrations.