On Friday 8 November, over 300 alumni, friends, and supporters of the University came together for the 10thannual House of Lords reception and to bid a fond farewell to the University’s Chancellor, Sir Dominic Cadbury, who is retiring in December. Alumni in attendance came from across the University’s disciplines and spanned 72 year of the University’s history.
Following tours of the Palace of Westminster, guests were warmly welcomed by their host, Lord Hannay of Chiswick; Sir Dominic Cadbury; and the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor David Eastwood. Professor Eastwood joined alumni in celebrating the University’s successes of the past year, including being named University of the Year 2013-14 by the Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide. Professor Eastwood announced that the Circles of Influence campaign has raised £125 million, due to the incredible generosity of the University’s alumni and supporters, and was well on course to reach the £160 million target, which will have a life-changing impact. Professor Eastwood also announced that the campaign was further bolstered by a transformational gift of £15 million by alumni Professor Jo Bradwell and his wife, Barbara, to establish the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research. Professor Eastwood explained that this gift, combined with University investment, will create a unique and world leading institute that will research the impact of climate and environmental change on woodlands, and the resilience of trees to invasive pests.
Professor Eastwood took a moment to thank Sir Dominic for all he has done for the University during his time as Chancellor. It was also announced that as part of his legacy to the University, Sir Dominic has set up the Chancellor’s Challenge Fund, which will support new capital projects on campus, like the new Sports and Aquatic Centre, the new Library and Cultural Gateway, and the University School.
This incredibly popular reception was an enjoyable evening of conversation with old classmates and new friends. Wine and canapés were served throughout the evening as alumni enjoyed the stunning views of the Thames, the London Eye, and other landmarks from the terrace. Alumni were especially keen to meet with current students and ask them about life on today’s thriving campus. Alumni were joined by students benefitting from a variety of scholarship and mentoring programmes, including our sector-leading Access to Birmingham scheme and our innovative Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme.
Thank you to everyone who attended and made the evening such an enjoyable and memorable occasion.
Next year’s reception will take place on Friday 7 November 2014. Details of the event will be emailed to all alumni and online booking will be available in August. To ensure you receive your invitation, please visit www.your.bham.ac.uk to update your details.