Mason Hayes Solicitors

Press Release – Outstanding alumni receive fellowships during Summer 2014 Graduation

Rupert Bravery (Economics 1978) Emergency Preparedness and Response Advisor, ExxonMobil and Marcus Hayes (Law 1984) Managing Director, Mason Hayes Solicitors have been awarded fellowships for their exceptional contributions to the University of Sussex.

Presenting Rupert Bravery, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Michael Davies described how Rupert had played a key role in supporting the University’s Mobil 1 Team Sussex motorsport team since 2008.

As well as securing sponsorship for the team from ExxonMobil and in-kind support from other corporate sponsors, Rupert has mentored the student team on many aspects of the national Formula Student competition; helped them to raise their profile at events such as the Goodwood Festival of Speed, and introduced them to patrons including Lance Sergeant Johnson Beharry VC and Richard Noble OBE.

In addition to helping the student team over many years, Rupert has also had a wider impact on staff and students within the University through his various careers talks and his participation on the School of Engineering and Informatics’ Advisory Board.

Receiving his fellowship, Rupert said he was ‘honoured and humbled’ and described how proud he was of the engineering students’ achievements to date, remaining friends with many of them for years after graduation. 

Like Rupert, Marcus Hayes was the first in his family to go to University and having carved out a successful career in law, he went on to establish both the Mason Hayes Scholarships and the Mason Hayes Charitable Trust Work Placement Scheme which provide financial and personal development support to those who need it most.   

Marcus has also visited the University on numerous occasions to provide mentoring, careers talks and most recently a commercial awareness seminar for law students.

On accepting the award, Marcus said ‘I am thrilled and delighted to receive this award.  From the moment I came to Sussex it had an embrace, and it not only provided me with a very good education but has enabled me to offer a variety of opportunities to undergraduates from first generation backgrounds or from backgrounds where personal circumstances would otherwise dictate an inability to enjoy the benefits of higher education. 

It has been a privilege to be associated with Sussex, both as a student and alumnus and I look forward to working further with the University for many years to come.’

Marcus also described how the biggest reward for him was to see first generation scholars growing in self-confidence and beginning to fulfil their ambitions. He mentioned fellow guest at the awards dinner, law alumna Ellie Taylor, who participated in the Mason Hayes Charitable Trust Work Placement Scheme and, following graduation, gained a scholarship from the Law Society –  she is due to start her first legal role in September.

Finally, he emphasised the value that alumni add to the University, for current students and for recent graduates, not only by providing financial support but also through giving inspiration, expertise and mentoring.

By Sally Atkinson,
Alumni Relations Manager
University of Sussex

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