Virtual Global Alumni Gathering 2020

GAG-Banner-ImageTo celebrate the anniversary of the University receiving Royal Assent in 1900, alumni around the world came together to mark the occasion during May.

Undoubtedly 2020 has been a year unlike any other, and although there is no substitute for meeting face to face many alumni joined us in celebrating this year’s Global Alumni Gathering by coming together online.

Our week of celebrations began with a real treat! With many missing the Winterbourne House and Gardens, on Tuesday 26 May we brought the gardens to our worldwide audience with a live chat and Q&A with Winterbourne Head Gardener, Dan Cartwright. For those who missed it, the recorded broadcast can be found on our YouTube channel.

If you'd like to hear more green-fingered tips, the Winterbourne House and Garden Facebook page hosts their “Ask a Gardener” feature every Wednesday during lockdown, where you’ll receive expert gardening advice from the team. We recommend their blog too!

The celebrations continued with the launch of our brand new virtual Alumni Book Club and our free spaces sold out within days. We were delighted to welcome Professor Alexandra Harris to host our first session, Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf.

“Just a note to say how much I enjoyed the Mrs Dalloway meeting this afternoon… really appreciated your comments on the novel and on the writing of Virginia Woolf, as well as the contributions of the other participants. It was so lovely too to be connected to the University of Birmingham, some of which was even visible in one of the shots.”

 It was closely followed by our second session, The Bass Rock by Evie Wyld, kindly hosted by Doctor Ruth Gilligan. It was fantastic to hear how much you enjoyed the sessions and watch it grow in popularity. Our book club will return later in the summer, so do look out for it.

Some graduates took their Global Alumni Gatherings online via zoom calls and they looked great fun! We were pleased to learn so many alumni have been catching up more regularly online recently. You can find a selection of photographs from our gatherings last month in the England, New York, Chicago and California.


We asked our alumni to share a snap of any treasured objects and memorabilia that reminded them of their time at Birmingham, and as usual they didn’t disappoint - check out some of your alumni treasures!

Finally, those with a competitive streak took part in our Alumni 'MasterMinds' Lockdown Quiz, testing their knowledge of campus-related trivia. You can view the leaderboard and answers to the questions. Congratulations Sophie, you officially know the most about the University of Birmingham!

Thank you to everyone that took part in our 2020 Global Alumni Celebrations. To help us shape our online events calendar over the coming months, we would love to learn what other online activities you would be interested in – please take part in our short survey, and you’ll be entered into our prize draw (to be announced when we return to campus).

 We look forward to welcoming you to one of our online events soon!