Keeping connected

Published on 17 July 2020

Kam, Lorinda, Feso and Rob are connected to a global community which is made up of over 100,000 alumni across the world, each with their own story

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From mobilising Dundee alumni for events across the world, to keeping graduates connected to others through WhatsApp as well as organising reunions to celebrate significant milestones, there are many ways and reasons to remain connected with your alma mater.

a student at graduation
“On the 21st March, I called Mrs Evelyn Rodgers to thank her for sending me a birthday card. This is one of many cards I have received from her over our years of friendship. When I arrived in Dundee I went to the Accommodation Office to sort out my living arrangements. It was there that I met Evelyn. She gave me a lot of help and advice throughout my time in Dundee as she did for many other students.”

Kam Tsui (Civil Engineering, 1983)

"Her kindness left a mark on me, and when I returned to Hong Kong we continued to keep in touch by writing letters and sending greeting cards as if she were a member of family. I have even met up with her and other staff from the Accommodation Office when I have come back to Dundee on holiday. Evelyn is now 96 years old!”

I had a great experience at Dundee and am now heavily involved in the University’s alumni community in Hong Kong. Whenever lecturers from the Civil Engineering department and other University staff visit Hong Kong, I have organised opportunities for them and our alumni to gather together. We have had lots of alumni events here in Hong Kong, including dinners, drinks, hiking, sightseeing days, and trips to Macau for alumni based there.  I have also set up a WhatsApp group for alumni in Hong Kong to keep in touch with each other, to network and to hear updates from the University.”

a woman with a black jumper on
“Keen to keep my ties with the University even in a small way, I found fellow alumni, now living in the US, and those from the Tri-State area (New York, New Jersey and Connecticut) had formed a very small alumni group and I contacted them to join. The group was pretty scattered but I helped to arrange a meetup at a bar in the West Village. We had a terrific night and friendships were forged, and are still going strong. More people in the three states heard about us through the alumni team’s emails and so our numbers grew.”

Lorinda Chamberlain (English, 1999)

"After graduating in 1999, I believed I was saying goodbye to the University of Dundee. After four years of study in Arts and Social Sciences, having made many friends who were now scattering around the globe, I thought it would be the last time I would ever see any of them

I had built strong relationships with my professors and tutors and the English Department as a whole while being the Student Representative for the department. I was sad to be ‘moving on’ and sure I would lose contact with everybody.

I moved the New York shortly after graduation, my degree from a great University enabling me to find work at two fantastic companies. I settled in to the New York way of life. 

We met one year to watch the Tartan Day parade in the pouring rain and have lunch. There we wondered why the University of Dundee did not have representatives marching in the parade before it was clear that WE were the representatives that would make this happen. From that year on, the University has had a presence at the parade, growing in numbers slowly throughout the last decade. We meet up at other times too, for activities, dinner and we keep in contact on a personal level too. The alumni team has helped our numbers grow, and keeps us active with social events organised by for example, the Scottish Government.

We have each built friendly relationships with Pam Lawrence from the alumni team who has been instrumental in keeping us in the loop about events and ways we can benefit from our connections, past and present. Pam and her team have provided us with a central point of communication via the NY/NJ Alumni WhatsApp Message Group and visit us each year for the Tartan Day Parade. It has been a joy to keep connected and form new friendships with others along the way.”

an image of Feso Bright
“From 2010 to 2017 I found myself building lasting relationships with friends and as many alumni as I remembered from my University of Dundee days. I have since managed to facilitate instant communication and contact among 500 alumni from the University of Dundee’s Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy (CEPMLP) since 2017- via the creation of a WhatsApp-based network called CEPMLP500”

Feso Bright (International Oil and Gas Management, 2010)

"Support systems in every stage of life are necessary. There is no point reinventing the wheel when someone else has done that. As such it makes sense to tap into existing networks and knowledge. Also, industry trust relationships are built over time. It is beneficial to interact with a trust network as soon as one can. "

The alumni relations team have been very supportive to reach out to other alumni to encourage them to join the network.

I also facilitated an international CEPMLP reunion in June 2019 with over 60 alumni returning to Dundee from all over the world to meet with each other and reconnect with the University we love so much. The dinner was superb and the city tour, CEPMLP drinks reception and networking day turned out just beautifully. Of course the seminar was truly splendid. I really wish to express my profound gratitude to Beth and Pam who supported the reunion activities.

We have now decided to have another reunion in Dubai by 2022 and look forward to working with the alumni office to build on the success of #madeinDundee2019.”

a man standing in a black jumper in front of the sea
“Being both a Geology graduate and a former member of staff I was really enthusiastic to organise a reunion of former graduates and staff to commemorate, celebrate and look back fondly at the department that played such a key role in so many lives. Thirty years on, in September 2019, the reunion took place.”

Rob Duck (Geology, 1977)

"Although Geology had been taught in University College Dundee since 1903, the first students to graduate with Honours in the subject from the University of Dundee did so in 1971, four years after the institution gained its Royal Charter. In 1989, the Department of Geology, which then occupied the Old Technical Institute in Small’s Wynd, fell victim to the ill-conceived and costly UK-wide ‘Earth Sciences Review’ thus ending 86 years of geology teaching and research in the University.  

Over 60 BSc, MSc and PhD graduates attended along with partners. Almost all year groups were represented from 1971 to the most recent, 1989, including Dr Iain Spence who was one of the first group of three University of Dundee BSc students to graduate in 1971. Former staff members present were Professor John McManus, Dr Colin Braithwaite, Dr Alan Owen and myself. Sadly, the former Head of Department, Professor Donald Ramsay, affectionately known as ‘The Boss’ by staff and students alike, was unable to be there owing to ill health. A Friday evening reception at the Apex Hotel paved the way for a long night of well-lubricated reminiscences. Eddie Small’s city walk the following morning was for many the highlight of the weekend, revealing as it did more about Dundee in a couple of hours than they had learned in their four years of study in the city. A final reception on ‘RRS Discovery’ followed by dinner in the Falcon Scott Suite rounded off an enormously enjoyable event.

Three years in the planning, its success was in no small measure due to Pam Lawrence, Senior Alumni Relations Officer in the University, and her team who did such a splendid job ensuring that everything ran smoothly and without any hitches. The feedback has been tremendously positive, to the extent that several graduates have asked for another reunion in ten years’ time! Watch this space……”

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