‘I couldn’t wish for a more interesting job’: Ben Emmerson CBE KC, 2023 Alumni Award winner for Global Citizenship

This year’s Alumni Award winner for Global Citizenship is Ben Emmerson CBE KC (LLB 1985, Hon LLD 2015), one of the world’s preeminent international human rights lawyers.  (more…)

Fred Moss (BA 2013): transforming company cultures through peer learning

Most office workers will be familiar with the annual cycle of employee training. You log on to a website, read some module material, complete a quiz and you’re done. It’s a tried-and-tested (if somewhat uninspiring) format that peer-learning company Hive Learning are aiming to disrupt.

Founded in 2013 by rugby world cup winning coach, Sir Clive Woodward, and digital venture builder, Blenheim Chalcot, Hive Learning’s technology is based on a combination of network science and nudge theory – borrowing some of the principles that draw users into social media. Users of the platform can come together with their colleagues to learn about a wide range of topics, which cover everything from improving resilience in the workplace to becoming a more inclusive company.

Bristol alumnus Fred Moss (BA 2013) has worked at Hive Learning for seven years, during which time he moved to New York to set up the company’s US business. We caught up with him to learn more about life in the US and how Hive Learning is reimagining corporate learning.


Wolfson Foundation support three exceptional researchers to join the University of Bristol

Three outstanding international academics will join the University of Bristol this year after being awarded the prestigious Royal Society Wolfson Visiting Fellowship. These fellowships enable exceptional international researchers to undertake a flexible 12-month period of sabbatical leave to join a UK university, to foster international collaboration and enrich scientific research. (more…)

Eco-entrepreneur: we speak with Alumna Rhea Singhal (BSc 2004), Founder and CEO of Ecoware

Rhea Singhal, Founder and CEO of Ecoware – India’s first and largest sustainable food packaging company – tells us about her move from Pharmacology to environmentally friendly tableware, what she learned from her time at Bristol, and how to confidently follow your passion.

I fell in love with Bristol on my open day at the University. The city had such a nice feel to it, not too large but big enough to be interesting. It was easy to navigate as a student and I always felt at home, which was particularly important, as I was an international student. I made a great bunch of friends at Bristol that I’m still in touch with today.

I had wanted to be a medical doctor since I was very little, but when it came to actually attending university I wavered, and I wasn’t so sure. So instead I chose to study Pharmacology. But I found the degree to be very research based and I personally didn’t like that, I wanted more face-to-face interaction. It was very hard, but I also knew that nothing lasts forever. I was also lucky in that the faculty were always super supportive and honestly felt like family. And I loved all of the societies and extracurriculars that I was part of. (more…)

Alumni gain exclusive insight into China job market 

This November, we were pleased to bring a series of events online to our Chinese alumni and students, as a response to the cancelled central delegation to China.

As part of Bristol Connects Live– our online series of career and professional development events, members of our Chinese alumni community shared their experiences at two webinars focussed on Top Accounting firms, and Entrepreneurship to an audience of students and recent graduates.


Alumni around the world share their post-grad study stories

In a challenging year for making decisions about your study, 130 alumni around the world offered their words of advice to over 5,000 students considering Bristol at our postgraduate open week, 16-20 November.

Our international community of alumni volunteers responded to a call for their stories, memories and experience, explaining the impact their post-graduate study at Bristol has had on their career, the support offered during their time here and tips for making the most of life in Bristol over more than 100 different sessions during the week.


University of Bristol Alumni of Eastern Canada Virtual Reunion!

Heather Proctor (BSc 1964):

On Tuesday 22 September 2020, the University of Bristol Alumni of Eastern Canada held their first ‘virtual’ reunion. Joanna Sochacka from the Development and Alumni Relations Office gave a very interesting overview of how Bristol has coped during Covid-19. Joanna informed us that the Eastern Canada Alumni group is the oldest continuously-running group in the world. The group has been organising annual reunions for the past 18 years.

Among the group, there were several old University of Bristol scarves to be seen, as well as photos of Bristol on walls. Dennis Osmond (MBChB 1954) showed a big photo of our dear Eastern Canada founder, John Bull (BSc 1958), and we virtually toasted him as Dennis waved a bottle of Bristol Cream! We talked of canoes, bears, a bobcat, skis snowshoes, a kayak, a wedding and a cross Canada drive, as well as ways we’re coping and trips we haven’t taken. All agreed it was so nice to hear from each other, and to meet a new member, Roger Moore (BA 1966).

Next year we look forward to welcoming as many alumni as possible to the 2021 reunion, it may be held in Kingston, if it is safe to do so.

If you are interested in holding your own online reunion and would like us to help please contact alumni-volunteers@bristol.ac.uk.

Message from the US Foundation Chair: engagement drives philanthropy

Lesley Silvester, Chair of the US-based University of Bristol Foundation, reflects on the importance of  the US Foundation giving in making Bristol great. 

To quote our Vice Chancellor and President Hugh Brady, ‘Philanthropy will increasingly be a critical determinant of Bristol’s success’, asserting that it is a key component in supporting students, recruiting world-class staff and funding research. The Board of the US Foundation understands that such giving can make the difference between a good university and a great one. To that end we are playing an increasingly significant role through our focus on several specific philanthropic goals.

A primary objective has been and continues to be to increase both the amount of support and the number of alumni donors within the US based alumni community. A second goal – complementing the first – is the development of an increasingly strong and vibrant alumni community. Happily, though not surprisingly, the more we reach out and expand our alumni network in the States, the more it becomes apparent that we have a wide and accomplished group with whom to engage. At best count, which we believe in all probability is understated, we have over 5,500 alumni residing here. And we’d like to connect with every one of you.

Key to us achieving our goals is the University’s Development and Alumni Relations Office (DARO) strategy of significantly growing engagement and volunteering partnerships not only in the UK but internationally. The relationship between DARO and the US Foundation has been considerably strengthened over the past few years, as we have aligned around shared goals, communications and events. We can clearly see the powerful mutual benefits to both Bristol and its alumni by building community across all University stakeholders.

At our September Foundation board meeting, Jim Rucker – who has served as a Foundation Director for ten years and has contributed to many of our efforts – retired, and two new directors were elected and welcomed to the group. They are Tim Richie (BA 1978) who resides in Massachusetts and California and Tim Parton (BSc 1986) who lives in the New York area.

During the week of 11 November alumni events were held across the US, in New York, San Francisco and Boston in connection with the Vice Chancellor’s visit. We were delighted that many of you joined us, and hope that you are enjoying being part of the University’s burgeoning community, and are as excited as I am about the University’s vision for its future.

On behalf of the entire Foundation Board we wish you a very happy holiday season and look forward to further engagement in 2020.