In-person graduation ceremonies (and mortar boards!) return to the University

From Friday 8 to Thursday 14 of April, the Wills Memorial Building will be a sea of gowns and mortar boards as the first in-person graduations in over two years take place. Around 4,500 students will have their graduations conferred after ceremonies were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

This year students will be wearing mortar boards, which have not been part of University of Bristol graduation dress since the 1960s.

Speaking about the occasion, Professor Hugh Brady, Vice-Chancellor & President, said: “Graduation is the focal point of the University of Bristol calendar and a chance for students and staff to celebrate their considerable achievements. Many of those graduating left us during the pandemic, and I am truly thankful that we have this chance to see them again in person, and to congratulate them on their nous, tenacity and aptitude.

“Gaining a degree is challenging. It involves sacrifice and fortitude; intelligence and insight; and every one of the 4,500 new graduates deserve their hard-earned reward.”

The ceremonies will also see five distinguished guests (three of whom are alumni of the University) receive honorary awards in recognition of their outstanding achievements:

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Spring Showcase 2022: Dig into a weekend of fascinating events

A skeleton of a T-Rex dinosaur

Following the success of the inaugural event last year, the Bristol Alumni Network presents the Spring Showcase 2022, which will take place from 18 to 19 March 2022. During the weekend you’ll be able to take part in a series of digital events which all celebrate digging and dinosaurs. 

You’ll hear from the School of Earth Science’s Professor Mike Benton (OBE, FRS FRSE), who will introduce the science behind dinosaur biology. He’ll be joined by Tim Haines, the BAFTA-award-winning maker of the 1999 BBC series Walking with Dinosaurs, who will be speaking about how filmmakers have brought dinosaurs to life on our screens over the years.    (more…)

Alumni and students share their marathon experience

Claire Evans (BA 1991) running the London Marathon 2021.

On 3 October, a fantastic group of Bristol alumni and students ran the 2021 London Marathon, raising over £10,000 for the University’s Healthy Minds Programme. They each ran an incredible 26.2 miles, raising awareness of the importance of physical activity on mental health and the vital nature of the programme itself.

The Healthy Minds programme helps students who are experiencing mental health difficulties by providing them with a bespoke physical activity plan and access to sports facilities. Students are paired up with a mentor – a member of the University fitness team with advanced mental health training – who coaches them throughout their time on the programme. (more…)

The five greatest impacts of COVID-19 on the creative industries

The creative industries account for almost one in eight UK businesses and contributed £115.9 billion gross added value to the UK economy pre-pandemic. So what will happen to this booming industry in the aftermath of COVID-19?

We spoke to three Bristol alumni working in creative industries to get their thoughts on what the future of this sector might look like beyond the reach of COVID-19. Here’s what they had to say. (more…)

After your English degree: Seven top takeaways from our alumni event

In April, three fantastic Bristol alumni hosted a digital event aimed at English Literature students and recent graduates starting out in their careers. Our hosts shared their career insights and tips on how to get the most out of an English degree after graduating.

We were joined by Alice Johnston (BA 2013), a Freelance Journalist who specialises in lifestyle pieces and has written for titles including CNN, the Daily Mail, the Metro and Culture Trip. Alongside her was Catherine Spencer (MA 2015), Senior Digital Marketer at the National Trust, who has a wealth of experience in creating and delivering marketing strategies for the organisation. We were also joined by India Fallon (BA 2014), Senior Programme Officer at Development Pathways, an organisation which aims to create evidence-based solutions to social and economic challenges faced by nations around the world.

We rounded up some of their best tips below! (more…)

Helping you to stay connected

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

Bristol Volunteers coordinate and manage lots of events for Bristol alumni all around the world. They bring alumni together to reconnect with each other and share their memories and passions. We want to work with you to help with your event in the best way that we can. So, if you currently organise events for alumni or are thinking about doing so, here’s how we can help.

At the moment, all our alumni events and gatherings are being held online. We look forward to seeing one another in person when it is safe to do so – and in the meantime, we can help you organise a digital get-together.

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Bristol’s alumni networks spring to life: Spring Showcase

The Bristol Alumni Network Steering Group: Charles Gunter (BSc 2006, PGCE 2007, MSc 2009), Savannah Coombe (BA 2020), Linda Wilson (LLB 1982) and David Richards (BSc 1988, PhD 1995)

On Friday 19 and Saturday 20 March 2021, the Bristol Alumni Network, in collaboration with the Students’ Union, presented the Bristol Spring Showcase. The weekend brought together alumni, students, and staff, through a series of digital events including tours and talks, panel discussions, a photo competition, celebrating 100 years of Geography at the University, and our very own University Challenge.

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Why I’m a Bristol Volunteer

Almost 2,000 people volunteered for the University in this academic year. We caught up with some of our volunteers to find out more about their roles and what being a Bristol Volunteer means to them.

(Top) Fran Wormald (MEng 2012) supported our Bristol Voices programme

Since moving back to Bristol, I’ve wanted to get more involved in the local community and support students at the University. I can imagine the coronavirus crisis has left students feeling isolated and lonely, with limited opportunities to meet and socialise. I wanted to be a friendly contact for a student during this difficult period.

I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the student I’ve been paired with. She and I have lots in common and get on really well. We’ve been able to talk openly about our difficulties during lockdown and what we’re looking forward to in the future.

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