A review of Reunite! 2009


Graduates from across the region, country and world arrived in Newcastle on 19–20 June to mix with University staff and students, as part of our annual alumni celebrations.

The festivities began with our alumni golf tournament, the Walton Salver (follow this link for a review), before returning to campus for a weekend of nostalgia, learning and laughter.

See below for reviews of the numerous events that comprised Reunite! 2009, and follow the links for our photo galleries.

Donor Reception

Over 100 donors and guests joined us for our annual donor reception on Friday 19 June at the newly refurbished Great North Museum. The event was hosted by our Vice-Chancellor, Chris Brink, and Chair of the Alumni Association, Mark Scrimshaw.

Photos from the donor reception.


Convocation is the annual meeting of the Alumni Association, and plays an integral role in our Reunite! celebrations. Comprising three parts, Convocation is an opportunity for alumni to hear from the Vice-Chancellor and ask questions about the University's progress, network over lunch, and hear from some of the country's finest minds on topical subjects.

The Vice-Chancellor's insightful presentation is available on our SlideShare pages.

Our annual Convocation Lecture was delivered by esteemed environmentalist, Professor Norman Myers, and entitled: 'The citizen is willing but governments won't deliver: the problem of institutional roadblocks'. Professor Myers' full presentation is also available on our SlideShare pages.

Photos from Convocation.

Afternoon Activities

Geography 80th celebrations
Alumni of all ages and staff past and present came together to celebrate 80 years of Geography at Newcastle, in the Research Beehive and Courtyard Restaurant on campus. The event featured a short lecture by Professor John Goddard on the history of the department and the contribution of Geography to the region, and Professor Alistair Bonnett discussed geographical themes for the twenty first century. The event also provided an opportunity for the department, through Dr Andy Large, to thank Professor Malcolm Newson for his commitment to the department over many years as he now becomes an Emeritus Professor. He will undertake this role in addition to his current position as Director of the Tyne Rivers Trust (by Stuart Garratt, Development Manager).

Great North Museum
Over 60 guests took a behind-the-scenes tour of the brand new Great North Museum, guided by project manager Steve McLean of Tyne & Wear Museums.

Alumni Football Match
Review to follow.

Photos from the afternoon.

Northumbrian Evening – 'Dining with dinosaurs'
by Peter Farrar (BA Economics & Accounting 1968)

About a hundred of us gathered for dinner in the Hancock Museum (sorry, old habits die hard, now the Great North Museum:Hancock), newly opened with a great new extension and an enlarged exhibition of natural history and antiquities. 

Some thirty of us were from the class of 69, along with a large contingent celebrating the class of 59 and many other alumni, as well as a number of senior University figures. 

During the champagne reception we heard from the VC and some of his senior colleagues about developments and were entertained by Paul Younger, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Engagement, with a memorable rendition of a hitherto unknown (to most of us anyway) ancient Northumbrian song which deserves to be recorded and distributed as further demonstration of the talents resident at the University and the joys of living in Newcastle! 

To follow that we moved upstairs, to look down on the animals, and were treated to a sumptuous buffet of traditional hot dishes, made with local ingredients, and a wicked array of desserts. There was, of course, in true Newcastle tradition, a suitably ample supply of wine. 

After dinner we were not only entertained by well-known local duo Landermason, but had an opportunity to wander around the Museum in comfort, to commune with the dinosaurs, and a spectacular short presentation in the Museum’s planetarium. 

All in all a unique experience and fitting climax to the re-union weekend, made even more special by being with so many old friends, all of us proud to be part of the Newcastle University family.

Photos from the Northumbrian evening.

published on: 2nd July 2009

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