Timeline: Keele throughout the years

Founded in 1949 with a commitment to meet the demands of a new kind of society, economy and world, Keele was the first new university of the 20th Century and remains true to its original mission today.


The new Keele estate was acquired and the University College of North Staffordshire was formed.


The Queen (latterly known as the Queen Mother) formally opened University College of North Staffordshire. George Eason became the first recipient of a degree from Keele.

1951 - The Queen (latterly known as the Queen Mother) at Keele


Founder and inspiration Lord Lindsay sadly dies.

1952 - Founder and inspiration Lord Lindsay sadly dies.


The first graduate to receive a degree who studied entirely at Keele was Margaret Boulds. She received a First Class dual honours degree in Philosophy and English.


The full University charter was awarded by Queen Elizabeth II, meaning the institution was officially known as the 'University of Keele'. Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, was appointed Keele's first Chancellor and remained so until 1986.

1962 - Queen Elizabeth II visits Keele


Mid 1962

Audrey Newsome arrived at Keele and shortly after created the first student counselling service at a UK university, a concept which is now commonplace across the country.

Late 1962

The Keele Observatory opens.

Keele Observatory


Keele Chapel was opened and was an innovation both in its design and in its intended use, being the first purpose-built ecumenical chapel in the UK.


Little known conceptual band Pink Floyd play in the Ballroom.

Pink Floyd band


A quartet of Keele students went on University Challenge - and won!

Keele University win University Challenge


Two students from Keele scooped an exclusive interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono - and even got a lift from the station in the Beatle's mini!

John Lennon glasses


About 300 Keele students attempted to levitate The Clock House using 'psychic power'.

Vintage photo of the Clock House


Last swans sighted on Keele lakes.



Irish supergroup U2 play at the Students' Union.

Gibson guitar as used by Edge from U2


Early 1980

The Students' Union Building was briefly the seat of government of the Free Republic of Keele, a sovereign state which unilaterally declared its independance in 1980.

Later 1980

Department of Postgraduate Medicine is inaugurated.


Early 1985

The main bar in the Students' Union is named 'Nelson Mandela Bar' in the support of the Free Nelson Mandela movement.

Late 1985

The Library clock which was stopped at 2:35 for most of 1984 starts again!


Roald Dahl awarded an Honorary Degree.

Roald Dahl awarded an Honorary Degree.


The now legendary raft races on Keele lake began.


Britpop legends Blur play at the Students' Union.


Proposals were put forward by the University Arts Committee to set up an arboretum at Keele. The Arboretum is now a popular attraction on campus and home to the National Collection of Flowering Cherries.

Keele cherry tree


The Clinical Education Centre is opened at the University Hospital of the North Midlands.

The Clinical Education Centre at the University Hospital of the North Midlands


The Forest of Light was installed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of our Royal Charter.

Forest of Light at Keele Union Square


Awarded TEF Gold for our outstanding teaching.


Honarary graduate, Sir David Attenborough visits Keele to open our new science facilities and deliver his 70th anniversary talk.

Sir David Attenborough visits Keele