Over 200 alumni and friends visit campus for reunion weekend

A large group of people stand and perch together in front of flowery and purple backdrops. Many of them hold up pink signs that say things such as Alumni Reunion and LboroFamily

A group of alumni who lived in Elvyn Richards Hall in the early 90s gathered for the reunion weekend

From 17-19 May 2024, more than 200 alumni and guests visited Loughborough for the Alumni Reunion Weekend and Donor Lunch. The weekend was a celebration of peoples’ time at Loughborough, a chance to catch up, and an opportunity to explore what has changed at the University in recent years.

Two people looking at presentation stands that have historical images of campus on
Guests had the opportunity to talk about the history of the University with Dr Matt McCullock

A wide range of activities took place as part of the weekend, allowing alumni and guests to build their own reunion experience.

Guests graduated between 1959 and 2023. The brilliant range of generations of Loughborough graduates was a wonderful way to show what the Alumni Association is all about and gave people the chance to hear stories from across the decades.

Starting on Friday night at Loughborough Students’ Union, around 50 alumni danced the night away at one of the most popular student nights out, reliving their past visits to FND!

Saturday saw a broad array of events taking place, starting off with lunch, garden games, and a chance to hear about the history of the campus and to view the current exhibition in Martin Hall, The Art Schools of the Midlands. Alumni also contributed their memories and shared their excitement with us for social media, taking part in fun videos for Instagram (search @lborouniversity to check it out this week).

Alumni Advisory Board member Amy Ward gave a short welcome speech after lunch. She talked about her own connection to the University and how people can continue to stay involved, share expertise, offer job opportunities, and how to be a strong advocate for Loughborough.

Two people. A student holds a microphone whilst Amy Ward speaks.Amy Ward being interviewed by a current student

Meanwhile, donors to the University were thanked for their generosity at a lunch in the West Park Teaching Hub. Many of our donors contribute to our Opportunity Scholarships programme and had the chance to meet with some of the beneficiaries and to hear the impact their donations are having on the students’ lives.

They also heard from incoming Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Rachel Thomson, who chaired a panel discussion between a former scholar, a donor, and two members of university staff. Guests also heard about plans to raise funds for a newly launched Sanctuary Scholarships scheme for students who are forced to flee their countries because of conflict or persecution.

Five people seated on a stage. There is a large Loughborough University logo on the wall behind them.Professor Rachel Thomson chairing the panel

Donors who are members of our Schofield Society – having donated £1,000 a year or more, or having pledged a significant gift in their Will – were also invited to a first-look event where they had the exclusive opportunity to engage with our new Proto holoportation technology and 3D visualisation wall. The holograms included thank you messages for the donors from scholars.

One guest enjoyed the breadth of the event, having attended donor and alumni reunion weekend activities. They said:

“It has been my first time in years coming back to campus and I am absolutely amazed by how much it has changed and the amazing work that it has been doing. I really enjoyed the lunch and hearing about the advancements made through donations, but my favourite part has been the campus tour, seeing how much campus has changed since I studied has been amazing and reminiscing over the good old days with fellow alumni and donors has been wonderful, the biggest revelation for me was seeing that EHB no longer serves pints. This whole event has left me wanting to come back to Loughborough more often.”

An image of a person in a hologram machine. There’s another person looking towards the machine.Schofield Society members tried out new hologram technology

In the afternoon, more than 100 people headed off on tours of campus, guided by student ambassadors. Students shared insights into their own experiences, and they showcased some of the latest developments on campus. Young visitors also took part in a treasure hunt as part of the tour.

Alumni enjoyed walking around some of the hundreds of acres of campus grounds and seeing their former halls and department buildings. Some guests were seeing campus for the first time in several years – or even decades!

A person stands next to a street sign that reads Faraday Walk. There is a bike leaning on the sign and a building behind.Guests enjoyed seeing their old halls of residence

On Saturday evening, over 100 people attended a BBQ at the Edward Herbert Building, enjoying the warm, sunny weather and the newly renovated outdoor space in the center of campus. The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nick Jennings CB FREng FRS, was in attendance, and thanked guests for their continued support of the University:

“We have big plans for the next decade, but our ambitions are built on strong foundations and that includes you, our network of more than 200,000 alumni worldwide. You can be powerful ambassadors by sharing our research and achievements with your contacts, and encouraging future students to consider studying at Loughborough.

“Thank you for the part that you continue to play in helping us create a strong Loughborough community that’s united by the pursuit of better.”

As well as enjoying food together on an early summer’s evening, alumni were treated to entertainment from student jazz band Tuxedo Swing, and could get a caricature drawn, too!

The evening was a lovely conclusion to the day, with chatting, networking, and laughter.

After the event, alumnus Graham shared on X:

“It was brilliant to be back at Loughborough University for a reunion with friends from Elvyn Richards Hall - so many amazing stories! Can’t wait for the next one in 2 years #lborofamily.”

A person drawing a caricature of another person who is holding a champagne glass and smiling.Many alumni took home a caricature as a keepsake

Throughout the weekend, some alumni took the chance to watch student sport. The IMS All Stars event took place across campus, with halls competing against AU teams in sports including rugby, hockey, and football.

On Sunday, the Loughborough International Athletics (LIA) meet took place at the Paula Radcliffe Athletics Stadium. More than 100 alumni and guests attended the alumni event at the LIA, with hundreds more on site to witness top-class athletics in what is commonly known as the curtain raiser to the outdoor season.

A busy scene of people wearing caps and summer clothes in front of the PavilionAlumni enjoyed the use of the Pavilion. Image: Peter Simmons

Alumni enjoyed meeting with sports staff, witnessing athletes in action ahead of this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games, and refreshments throughout the day. Some of the competitors were student sport scholars – in receipt of financial support in part thanks to donations to Sports Scholarships at Loughborough. One of our sports scholars was Tokyo Paralympic champion Ntando Mahlangu. He wowed spectators by storming to victory in the men’s para 400m with a personal best of 52.42 seconds.

The weekend was a brilliant opportunity to welcome alumni back to campus to reminisce, network, and to catch up with the University.

Thank you to everyone who attended across our broad range of activities.

Student jazz band Tuxedo Swing. The people have a range of instruments are outdoors on grass.Tuxedo Swing provided entertainment on Saturday night

If you would like to attend future events, keep your contact details up-to-date to stay in touch. Be sure to follow us on social media on Facebook, LinkedIn and X for more!

View photographs of the events on Flickr:

Alumni Reunion

Donor Lunch and Schofield Society Networking Breakfast

If you’re interested in finding out more about how you can share expertise, donate or about other ways that you can stay connected with Loughborough, we’d love to hear from you.