Charles Sturt University [CSU] staff, students, and alumni gathered at the Bathurst campus' dining hall yesterday to celebrate the institution's 30th anniversary.
The celebratory event adopted a retro theme to reflect the 1980s, with CSU vice-chancellor Professor Andrew Vann and deputy vice-chancellor Jenny Roberts dressing up as the Blues Brothers.
CSU was founded on July 19, 1989 through the merger of Bathurst's Mitchell College of Advanced Education with the Riverina-Murray Institute of Higher Education campuses in Albury-Wodonga and Wagga Wagga.
Professor Vann said the occasion was a great way to look back on how far CSU has come as an institution.
"CSU has grown enormously and we're now a very comprehensive university in terms of the spread of courses we offer," he said.
"We have the best graduate employment rate in the country and various alumni have gone on to make a huge difference in their chosen profession."
Ms Roberts said the celebration is a time for CSU to not only reflect on its proud history, but look ahead to the university's future.
"The new branding we launched in May reflects our status as a forward-looking institution with strong roots in its traditions," she said.
"A key focus of this university is encouraging people from rural backgrounds to gain vital tertiary education in a regional location."
Professor Vann said the presence of CSU in regional locations such as Bathurst gives students the opportunity to gain a quality education in a more relaxed setting.
"The future for us as a country is in highly skilled employment, so we need educated people to take our communities forward," he said.
"A lot of our students attend CSU because they value the lifestyle and we're really proud of the difference we make to people's lives."
CSU will launch its medical school in 2021, and is in the process of working with local industries to co-create courses.
"We've just launched a series of graduation certificate courses in community resilience and leadership and case-based management," Professor Vann said.
"If we're going to thrive into the future, we need to meet the needs of our communities."
Ms Roberts said a key highlight of CSU is the culture, which offers students an inclusive and connected learning environment.
"Everyone is welcome and accepted at this university, regardless of their background," she said.
"When students attend our campuses, they feel a strong sense of connection and we intend to continue supporting them in any way we can to aid their success."