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…)
Last month, the University of Bristol welcomed over 130 alumni, friends, Scholars and staff to the 2023 Scholarships Celebration event. This event is an opportunity to celebrate our incredible Scholars and their achievements, and for them to connect with fellow scholarship students and donors. (more…)
Kathryn Moore (BA 2005) has fond memories of sitting in the quad at Wills Hall in the summer sunshine, with her fellow students of English at the end of term. While everyone else was busy with exams, Kathryn and her classmates could enjoy some freedom as the university year ended because at that time, English students were continually assessed throughout the year, rather than having an intense period of exams at the end. Like many of our alumni, Kathryn is still in close contact with the friends she met while studying, and is a regular visitor back to the city.
‘Studying at Bristol was such a happy time in my life. I picked a subject I really enjoyed and met like-minded people wherever I went – on my course, in halls and in the various societies.’ (more…)
Every year the New Year Honours list recognises the achievements and services of extraordinary people that have made a commitment to our society. This year is no different with 10 of our remarkable Bristol alumni being recognised for their services to education, community, science, young people and more. We are extremely proud to showcase their achievements and recognition.
Dr Valerie Marett MBE, (BA 1950, Cert Ed 1951) 93, has crystal clear memories of her time at Bristol, where she took up her place to read History in 1947, not long after the end of the second world war.
Resplendent in a bright sweater which was a gift from her late husband (Dr Marett refuses to wear the ‘uniform’ of a white cardigan, which is prevalent in her residential home) she tells us of her time at Bristol.
Dr Marett came to Bristol from a state grammar school in her native Wales and found herself surrounded by ex-service personnel and pupils of independent schools. She liked Bristol because it wasn’t the University of Wales where other members of her family had gone. At that time her halls of residence (Manor Hall) were female-only, headed by the warden Miss Morgan. Because of the austere conditions in post-war UK, she vividly recalls the gasps from her fellow students when one young woman appeared ready for a ball in a Christian Dior New Look dress, glowing from her holiday on a film star’s Caribbean yacht. Dr Marett appreciated the supportive atmosphere at Manor Hall, as at that time only 5% of the student population was female. For her, the drama students and those involved in their productions were the life and soul of the University at that time, in particular a Gerald Lloyd-Williams (Sub Lt), who had served in the navy during the war.
The beginning of the year 2022 was marked by eighteen of our distinguished alumni being recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours list for their extraordinary contributions to society. Among them are inspiring medical doctors, dedicated educators, and visionary scientists. We are extremely proud to showcase their achievements and their recognition. Read below to see if you recognise any from your time at Bristol. (more…)
Bristol alumnus, Ashley Dunn, is a man who’s always on the move. Currently working as a postman, he keeps his step count sky-high by delivering letters and parcels up and down the hills of Bristol. Since graduating in 2018 with a degree in Philosophy he’s also chalked up two triathlons, a half marathon and a 10K. Next year, the 30-year-old will tackle the challenge on every runner’s bucket list: the London marathon.
But running wasn’t always a way of life for Ashley. He started his fitness journey with the University’s Health Minds programme. This initiative, which started in 2016, aims to help students experiencing mental health difficulties to support their wellbeing through a bespoke exercise programme. Students benefit from the physical activity itself, but also by being paired up with a mentor – a member of the fitness team with advanced mental health training – who coaches them throughout. For Ashley, taking part gave him a much-needed boost during a very difficult time.