Cambridge Branch annual dinner, 20 October 2019

Alison Wilson (BA 1966) 

The Cambridge Branch held its Tenth Annual Dinner on 20th October 2019 in the sixteenth century Hall of Christ’s College Cambridge, a romantic setting for this special occasion. Eighty members and friends sat down to enjoy the superb cooking that the college chefs provided, complemented by wine from the cellars. Previously many of them enjoyed tours of the college with alumna Una Dinning, a professional guide, and a visit to the Old Library where the Librarian had laid out a carefully-chosen selection of rare books. Dinner was preceded by a drinks reception in an upstairs room overlooking the Hall.

As coffee was served, Alison Wilson thanked the many people who had helped to make the dinner a success and mentioned that she would be stepping down as Chair at the next AGM. (Later she was presented with a bouquet.) She then introduced the after-dinner speaker, political economist and Master of Hertford College, Oxford, Will Hutton. Will is an alumnus of the University of Bristol and has an honorary degree. Will had been in London all day on the march for a second referendum and spoke passionately about his belief that Britain should remain in Europe. He generously answered very many questions from the floor, speaking altogether for nearly an hour. Even those of a different political persuasion found it a stimulating encounter.

Over the years the Branch has steadily built up its numbers and has many loyal members who come to all the events. The Committee would like to thank them and the Alumni Relations staff at Bristol for their continued support.

Alumni meet in Hannover for a festive get-together

Alumni and friends gathered in Hannover for a festive alumni get-together this November. Hosted by the Germany Alumni Network, the evening was a great success.

Alumni and friends from around Germany met at the Hannover Christmas Market and shared their memories of Bristol over a glass of mulled wine.

A special thanks goes to Robin Knop (Cert 2018) & Torge Steensen (MSc 2010) for coordinating the event and making it such a success. Events such as these are central to building a strong network of alumni in Germany.

Please join the Germany Alumni Network Linkedin group to hear about future events.

Happy International Volunteer Day: thank you to our Bristol Volunteers

Today marks International Volunteer Day and we would like to take a moment to thank all our volunteers who support the University across the world.

Bristol Volunteers live in over 60 different countries and support Bristol by mentoring, taking part in panel discussions, submitting material to our archives, speaking to students through Bristol Connects and organising local events and activities.

We’re so grateful to all our Bristol Volunteers. Thank you all for your continued support.

Volunteering can be a great way to make new connections, learn new skills and give back. Make 2020 count by joining our growing community of Bristol Volunteers.

Opportunities coming up in 2020

Bristol Connects

Our online platform, Bristol Connects, offers all alumni the opportunity to share the benefits of their experience with students and fellow graduates. Share your career insights online as Career Experts, link with prospective students as Study Experts, or share your Alumni Profile and inspire the next generation. Find out more on our webpages.


Bristol Career Insights events

Bristol Career Insights are a series of global events which harness the expertise of local alumni to support current students and recent graduates looking to take the next steps in their careers. We would love to hear from alumni who can share their career stories, give exclusive insights into their industries and share their experience at our upcoming events:

  • Shanghai, Friday 27 March
  • Beijing, Monday 30 March
  • Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, summer 2020
  • London, summer 2020

If you are interested in getting involved or would like to find out more, contact the Bristol Volunteers team at alumni-volunteers@bristol.ac.uk.


Bristol Mentors

Bristol Mentors is a programme that matches students with an alumni mentor, who can help them explore ideas and share advice on how to break into their industry. With a focus on supporting students from under-represented backgrounds, eligible students will be matched with a mentor to provide support throughout the academic year.

Find out more about our Bristol Mentors programme online, or get in touch with the team at alumni-mentoring@bristol.ac.uk.


Build our global networks

Working in partnership with the University, we have alumni networks, professional groups, Halls Associations, sports groups and networks in many locations all over the world. Find out how you can connect with our groups on our Alumni Networks webpages or talk to a member of the team about starting a new network by contacting us at alumni-volunteers@bristol.ac.uk.

Find out more

Keep up to date with our latest volunteering opportunities sign-up to our Bristol Volunteers digest, or explore our ongoing volunteering opportunities online.

Boston alumni welcome students to the city, November 2019


Alumni gave a warm welcome to our students undertaking their study abroad year in Boston, at a welcome event this November. Hosted by the Boston Alumni Network, alumni helped welcome students as they navigate their first few weeks in Boston.

The evening was a great success, students enjoyed the chance to meet alumni and hear about their experiences, both in Bristol and Boston. Alumni had the opportunity to catch up with old friends as well as meet and connect with alumni who were new to the city.

A special thanks to Jon Kanter (BA 1992), who helped co-ordinate the get-together held in a lovely space in Central Boston. The group was updated with plans of a new space – Connect Boston – within the University’s new alumni engagement platform, Bristol Connects. Bristol Connects is an exclusive, online space for alumni, students and staff.

A very big thank you goes to all Bristol Volunteers who give up their time to support the University by helping students and keeping the Boston alumni network connected.

Find out more about our volunteer-led groups and networks and about Bristol Connects.

Sydney alumni get-together, 14 October 2019

Alumni and friends gathered in central Sydney for an alumni get-together this October. Hosted by University of Bristol Pro Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement), Dr Erik Lithander, the evening was a great success.

Alumni and friends from around Sydney were warmly welcomed to a drinks reception, alumni had the chance to catch up with old friends and meet alumni new to the city. Erik provided alumni with updates on the exciting new developments happening in Bristol.

Events such as these are central to building a strong network of alumni in Australia, and our special thanks go to Izzi Barnes (MSci 2015) and Lorna Whitwam (MSc 2005) for all their help in coordinating the event and making it such a success.

If you would like to organise an alumni get-together in your city, please contact us at alumni-volunteers@bristol.ac.uk.

 

Eastern Canada Reunion Weekend 2019

Heater Proctor (BSc 1964):

Our 2019 reunion was convened in Niagara-on-the-Lake at the Pillar and Post Inn, 17 to 19 September. This is a deluxe hotel with a great variety of amenities and wonderful food, in a very picturesque small Ontario town near Niagara Falls.

14 of us enjoyed fine dining at the Inn, lunch at a local restaurant, and dinner at Trius Winery, one of many delightful wineries in the Niagara area. Some of our group visited the heated outdoor pool and the hot springs at the Inn. At the local Shaw Festival Theatre we took in a performance of The Ladykillers, a hilarious farce.

During our first evening Heather Proctor (BSc 1964) brought greetings from the Development and Alumni Relations Office at Bristol, giving us an update on the new buildings at the University. George Plant presented an interesting talk about his examination of lunar rocks from the first moon landing in 1969.

Our reunion dinner at Trius Winery was exceptional. After an outdoor champagne reception, we were seated in a private room, and each course was explained and presented with theatrical precision by a flight of waiters!

This was a reunion to remember. Sefton Haisz (BSc 1967) and George Plant did a wonderful job organising this, and we thank them very much.

Next year’s event has been planned for 21 to 23 September in Kingston Ontario. We look forward to welcoming as many alumni as possible to the 2020 reunion. We plan on inviting particularly those alumni in our area who graduated between 1970 and 1990.

You’re bringing students and alumni together

Siyan Ruan (MSc 2014), Beijing alumni network Leader, explains why Bristol networks are so important for students and graduates to feel connected.

The Beijing alumni network is a volunteer-led group that works closely with the University of Bristol to host events and activities for graduates based in Beijing. Our first meeting back in 2015 brought together more than 250 graduates, and we now support Bristol’s China Graduation Celebration, sit on Career Panels and organise meetings and events.

Studying at Bristol is a very precious memory in my life. I can still remember the nights we spent in the library, the excitement when I delivered an assignment, the sense of relief when I finished my exams, the fulfilment when I handed in my final thesis. It was challenging, but so worth it. I still benefit now from my experiences at university.

As an international student arriving in Bristol, everything was so fresh to me. I can recall the first day I arrived, staying in a hotel and thinking ‘It’s like being in a British film!’ Banksy’s artwork and trip-hop music were so amazing and new to me. I also made a lot of friends in Bristol who I am still in touch with now. Bristol gave us the opportunity to tackle some of our challenges together.

The University of Bristol has a community of over 12,400 alumni in China and over 2,000 Chinese students at Bristol, making it the largest international network. There are volunteer-led networks in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, which nurture and support a family of graduates, and there are other international alumni networks based in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and the US.

When you have shared memories of a place, you have a shared language. The Beijing alumni network – and the alumni network more broadly – gives graduates the opportunity to meet other people who have experienced Bristol, who have been shaped by the same city, the same university, and perhaps by the same memories. It provides a significant connection for those who studied together.

As part of the Beijing alumni network we also meet current Bristol students who are doing placements, internships or who are studying abroad in China. I often recognise myself in these students, excited and sometimes a little bit shy in a new and unfamiliar place. I was so supported when I moved to Bristol that I feel moved to pass on that kindness to current students and do what I can to ensure they have a positive international experience.

Bristol alumni networks are based all over the world, keeping graduates connected with Bristol and each other. These groups enable members to connect and network with like-minded alumni, share advice and expertise, and attend exclusive events.

 

London Branch Annual Lecture: Sir Paul Nurse, ‘Science and the public good’

Sir Paul Nurse delivers the 2019 London Branch Annual Lecture

 

Scientific research is aimed at generating knowledge of the natural world and of ourselves, and also at developing that knowledge into useful applications, including driving innovation for sustainable productive economic growth and better public services, improving health, prosperity and the quality of life, and protecting the environment. – Sir Paul Nurse

Robert Dufton (LLB 1983, Honorary LLD 2014):

The London Branch of the University of Bristol Alumni has organised an annual lecture every year since 2006. This year it attracted a record crowd of 209, no doubt because of the speaker, Sir Paul Nurse, Chancellor of the University of Bristol since 2017, Director and Chief Executive of the Francis Crick Institute, and 2001 Nobel Prize winner for his research on protein molecules that control the division (duplication) of cells in the cell cycle.

The evening was hosted by London Branch Committee members: Chair Julian Metcalfe (BSc 1978); Treasurer Martin Lunnon (BSc 1973, PhD 1976) and Secretary Alan Ingham (MEng 1999). A brief AGM, involving the presentation of the annual report by Julian, the annual accounts by Martin and a vote of thanks given by Alan about outgoing branch committee member David Snoxell (BA 1966), who chaired the London Branch from 2005 to 2010 and who had inaugurated the annual lecture, was ably chaired by Julian and lasted 6 minutes, which may have contributed to his being re-elected for a second term as Chair!

Jonathan Phillips (BSc 1994), Chair of the Alumni Association Committee, spoke about the work of the association, and his aim that the association will in time become one of the reasons why students choose Bristol over other universities.

Sir Paul welcomed the audience to the Francis Crick Institute, the UK’s leading biomedical research institute which focusses on the fundamental biology underlying health and disease. The state-of-the-art building opened in 2016.

His lecture ‘Science and the public good’, (science meaning research of all disciplines) emphasized the importance of combining discovery research and its translation which then directly helped people. Great research required excellence, academic freedom and diversity of thinking/institutions and a determined curiosity about big questions. In addition to his current work at the Crick Institute, Sir Paul drew on his experiences at the universities of Sussex, Oxford, Harvard and Rockefeller, and his time as President of the Royal Society for five years.

Questions from the audience followed and conversation continued over a reception.

Become a Bristol Volunteer: current opportunities

Become part of Bristol’s bright, collective and strong community of experts by volunteering your time and expertise. We work with departments across the University to match our alumni volunteers with relevant and rewarding opportunities.

Explore some of our ongoing volunteering opportunities below.


Offer your time as a mentor
We are looking for engaged professionals to share their expertise with our students. There are several mentoring schemes you could get involved with across the University – current mentoring opportunities are listed below:

Bristol Mentors 
Bristol Mentors is a programme that matches students with an alumni mentor, who can help them explore ideas and share advice on how to break into industry. With a focus on supporting students from under-represented backgrounds, eligible students will be matched with a mentor to provide support throughout the academic year.

For more information about our Bristol Mentors programme, get in touch with the Bristol Volunteers team at alumni-volunteers@bristol.ac.uk.

Social Sciences Mentoring
Are you a Social Sciences and Law graduate and using your degree in your current role? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Use your expertise and experience to help guide our students through their studies and help them realise their future in social sciences field.

To find out more contact the Professional Liaison Network at pln-fssl@bristol.ac.uk.

Professional Law Mentoring Scheme
Our alumni are very successful in a broad range of legal careers and are an excellent source of guidance and inspiration for students. The Professional Law Mentoring Scheme aims to bring together these alumni to inspire current second year LLB and MA students and influence their career journeys.

If you work in a commercial legal role and would like to be involved as a mentor for the scheme, please get in touch with the School of Law Employability team at law-employability@bristol.ac.uk. 


Bristol Career Insights events
We are looking for alumni who can share their career stories, give exclusive insights into their industries and share their experience at our upcoming Bristol & London Career Insights events:
Bristol, Tuesday 15 October 2019
London, Tuesday  5 November 2019

If you could support current students and recent graduates looking to take the next steps in their careers please get in touch with the Bristol Volunteers team at alumni-volunteers@bristol.ac.uk.


Distinguished Alumni Law Lecture Series
Each year the School of Law invites senior judges, barristers and partners in leading law firms to give guest lectures through the Distinguished Alumni Law Lecture Series. The School are looking to involve new speakers in the programme – if you are keen to give something back and share an inspiring story with our students, we would love to hear from you.

To find out more information, please contact Alumni Coordinator, Dr Oliver Quick, Oliver.Quick@bristol.ac.uk. 


Would you like to help the Churchill Hall Association Committee?
Churchill Hall Association (CHA) comprises all those who have lived at Churchill Hall. The CHA Committee organises activities designed to support the Hall and to engage all members of the CHA community.

The CHA Committee is looking for assistance and to diversify its membership. They would particularly welcome recent Churchillians to help better represent the ideas of the entirety of the CHA community. Churchillians based in and around Bristol would also be very valuable.

If you would like to join the CHA Committee or discuss other volunteering options, please contact the Committee at committee@churchillhallassociation.co.uk.


Clifton Hill House Association 
Anthony Duncalf, current Physics students (2018-), is starting an Association of Clifton Hill House. Anthony is looking for local Clifton Hill House alumni to participate in initial meetings, spread the word and possibly join the Committee.

To find out more please contact the Bristol Volunteers team at alumni-volunteers@bristol.ac.uk.


Build our global alumni networks
Working in partnership with the University, we have alumni networks, professional groups, Halls Associations, sports groups and networks in many locations all over the world. These networks help members to gain new social and professional contacts, benefit from advice and expertise, connect with other like-minded alumni, and gain access to exclusive activities.

To find out how you can connect with our groups, or for more information about starting a new network, please contact the Bristol Volunteers team at alumni-volunteers@bristol.ac.uk.

Alumni welcome international students to their Bristol community

Alumni gave a warm welcome to our incoming international students at a new welcome event this September. Enjoying a traditional afternoon tea and relaxed conversation, alumni helped welcome students to Bristol as they navigate their first few weeks of life in the UK.

With conversations flowing, the event was a wonderful opportunity for new students to get to know the city and each other. Conversations ranged from which societies to join, to the best of Bristol’s many eateries. Alumni shared their top tips, Bristol favourites and their own experiences of starting fresh in an unknown city.

The event was part of a programme of Welcome Lounge events, a calendar of social events designed to give new international students a taste of Bristol life.

To find out more about volunteering at the University, contact alumni-volunteers@bristol.ac.uk or explore our ongoing volunteering opportunities online.