Annual Alumni Reunion 2016
Saturday 3 September
On Saturday 3 September we welcomed over 150 alumni back to campus for the Annual Alumni Reunion. With a special focus for those alumni who graduated in 1976, 1986 and 1991, we celebrated the 40, 30 and 25 year anniversaries of their graduations. Alumni joined us from all over the UK, as well as from overseas, with guests returning to Sheffield from as far afield as Spain, Malaysia and Montserrat.
Alumni took their first chance to catch up with old friends in the Students’ Union Interval Café (once the old Graves Building) over a morning coffee and biscuit. It was lovely to witness so many sentimental reunions between friends who had not seen each other for years. There were plenty of smiles and even the rain couldn’t dampen everyone’s spirits as groups gathered for the tours of the main campus.
Tour guides led groups around familiar sights such as Firth Court and Western Bank Library, as well as taking in newer parts of campus such as the Information Commons. Once again we opened up the Paternoster especially for alumni, giving them the chance to ride all the way up the Arts Tower and take in the spectacular views over Sheffield.
Following the rather soggy tours guests were delighted to be greeted with a Pimms cocktail on their arrival at INOX Dine for lunch. As alumni caught up with old friends and shared stories of their student days, everyone tucked into a delicious buffet followed by desserts of Eton Mess and chocolate brownies.
The afternoon activities kicked off just before 2pm. Half of the guests made their way down to the Diamond building and settled into one of the lecture theatres for a presentation by Professor Stephen Beck, Head of Multidisciplinary Engineering Education. Professor Beck talked alumni through how the building came to be the University’s biggest ever investment in learning and teaching and why it is such a draw for prospective undergraduate students. Alumni were able to see this for themselves following the talk as they took a tour of the building. Technicians were on hand to give demonstrations of the robot arena and 3D printers, and the tour included a look inside many of the labs and other facilities housed by the building.
The second group of guests followed lunch with a tour of the Students’ Union led by current students, sharing some of the latest developments which make it the number one Students’ Union in the country, having won the award for the fifth year running. A special stop was made in the Media Hub, the home of Forge Media, where the Union’s newspaper, radio and videos are produced, and which was revamped over the last few years thanks to a generous bequest from a Sheffield alumna.
Following the tour guests boarded a coach and were taken through the Sheffield suburbs to visit the new halls of residence at Endcliffe. The tour of the student village started with a familiar sight, Halifax Hall. Still part of the University but no longer used for student accommodation and instead a boutique hotel. From there the tour proceeded to The Edge, the bar and café of the village. Alumni concluded the tour by seeing some of the current rooms where students make their homes during their first year; with many alumni commenting on how much has changed.
After a few hours’ break alumni returned to campus for their evening plans. As usual we hosted a barbeque at Bar One (although this year owing to the weather it was moved indoors), for those wanting a more casual evening to catch up with friends, and to re-sample the student bar of their youth.
Meanwhile, over in Firth Court a formal dinner was held in the Hall, hosted by the newly appointed Pro-vice Chancellor for the Faculty of Science, Professor Nigel Clarke. Alumni arrived to a sparkling drinks reception in the foyer, before a three course dinner in Firth Hall, featuring a main of succulent beef and a particularly attractive and tasty chocolate box dessert. This year Vice Chancellor of City University London, Professor Sir Paul Curran (BSc Geography 1976) was kind enough to join us as our guest speaker, sharing recollections of his time at Sheffield as well as thoughts on the current climate in higher education and what it means to be part of an alumni community today.
Dinner guests headed over to Bar One to join their barbeque counterparts who were already partying away on the dancefloor, closing off the night with a special Pop Tarts Reunited club night; playing the tunes from their youth and bringing back many a fond memory into the early hours.
The links below will take you to our complete Photo Box albums of pictures from throughout the day, to relive the Reunion and order prints if you would like.
Find out about future events on our Upcoming Events web page.
Read about more Past Events.