Applications open for student telephone fundraising team!

Two student callers wearing headsets smile and use a computer.

We are currently recruiting for student callers to work on our spring 2024 telephone fundraising campaign. This is a fantastic opportunity to join a friendly team in which you can build your skills, make a difference, and gain fundraising experience. Applications can be submitted through our online form. (more…)

On George Odlum: Dr Anderson Reynolds on the life of Bristol’s first Black Student Union president

George Odlum stood in conversation with a fellow student (both wearing formal gowns) and Prince Andrew, Queen Elizabeth II is seated at the table beside Odlum.
George Odlum with Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip and a fellow student (image courtesy of the University of Bristol’s Special Collections archive)

During his time at the University of Bristol, Saint Lucian politician George Odlum (BA 1959) was the first Black student in any UK university to become president of the Students Union and went on to become a leading voice in Caribbean politics during a time of significant social change. Although Odlum died 20 years ago, his legacy lives on. Below, Dr Anderson Reynolds shares insights into Odlum’s life from his recently published book, They Called Him Brother George: Portrait of a Caribbean Politician. (more…)

Giles Watkins, author and legacy pledger, on Bristol’s ‘magnetic force’

Giles Watkins (BSc 1986) spent some of his formative years at Bristol writing for the University paper Bacus and has since gone on to write a sell-out book on sleep Positive Sleep: A holistic approach to resolve sleep issues and transform your life, via a career that spanned sales, marketing, oil trading, learning development and general management. Giles credits Bristol with giving him a wide breadth of experience and the confidence to pursue his passions. After working overseas in many different countries, Giles can now be found living back in Clifton where he started out as a student many years ago.

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Colonel Anne McClain, NASA astronaut and US Army Officer, on space exploration and following your passion

Colonel Anne McClain, NASA
Colonel Anne McClain (image courtesy of NASA)

NASA astronaut and University of Bristol alum Colonel Anne McClain (MSc 2005, Honorary DEng 2023) returned to the University recently to accept her Honorary doctorate, and talk about her space experience, her journey to becoming an astronaut, and the next decade of space exploration. Colonel McClain’s incredible career has seen her fly 20 different aircraft as a Senior Army Aviator, train as a US Navy test pilot, and serve as a Flight Engineer on the International Space Station (ISS), where she spent 204 days and led two spacewalks. In 2020, she became part of the Artemis programme, a NASA-led mission to put astronauts back on the moon by 2024 – with this mission, Colonel McClain could become the first woman to step on the moon.    (more…)

Applications open for student telephone fundraising team!

Two student callers wearing headsets smile and use a computer.

We are currently recruiting for student callers to work on our 2023/24 Telephone Fundraising Campaign. This is a fantastic opportunity to join a friendly team in which you can build your skills, make a difference, and gain fundraising experience. Applications can be submitted through our online form. (more…)

‘You first need to understand what your fellow human beings are up against and try to empathise’ Latif Ismail on global development

Latif Ismail poses in honorary graduate gown while holding degree. Professor Professor Judith Squires stands on the left and Professor Eric Herring stands on the right, both wearing ceremonial robes.

We were fortunate to speak with one of this year’s esteemed honorary graduates, Latif Ismail (MSc 2014, Hon LLD 2023), CEO of Transparency Solutions and Co-Director of Somali First. Somali First is a joint initiative of Transparency Solutions and the University of Bristol, launched in 2014 to promote Somali-led development through impartial facilitation, research and education.

Latif is also Managing Director of Horn Risk Management, Co-Investigator & Hub Leader of Transforming Education for Sustainable Futures. (more…)

From undergraduate to alum: A Bristol story

Helen celebrates her graduation with a smile, as she stands outside the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, dressed in her cap and gown.

Recent graduate Helen (BA 2023) took on a Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Summer Internship, working in the University of Bristol’s Development and Alumni Relations Office (DARO). We caught up with her to hear about her internship experience, how she feels transitioning from graduate to alum, and her advice for current students.

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Eminent Historian and legacy pledger Professor Ronald Hutton on Bristol

Professor Ronald Hutton, Department of History, University of Bristol

Ronald Hutton, Professor of History in Bristol’s Department of History, is a renowned and beloved academic and author of multiple books and publications. He is a leading authority on the history of the British Isles in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, on ancient and medieval paganism and magic, and on the global context of witchcraft beliefs.

Professor Hutton shares with us his views on Bristol, why it’s so important to him, and why he’s left a gift in his Will to the University. (more…)

‘Fail quickly and move on. And always cherish and celebrate your unsung heroes’: Jonathan de Pass on his unique career path

Jonathan de Pass (MBChB 1979) graduated with a degree in Medicine in 1979. After working as a junior doctor, and a spell at business school, he joined an investment bank specialising in financing pharmaceutical and bioscience companies. In 1996 he founded Evaluate, a provider of data and intelligence to the bioscience industry which would become a market leader.

A recipient of an honorary graduate degree this year, Jonathan shares insights into his unique career path and his advice to those starting out today. (more…)