President Post: Whatever happened to…?

12 October 2015

“I’m relieved and pleased that no-one has yet asked anyone else what car they drive!”, said my old school-mate ‘Hinesey’ [now Dr James Hine of the University of Edinburgh] at our 40-year reunion in Edinburgh on Friday. It was great to meet up with old friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen for 42 years – as I left aged 16, to go to UWC Atlantic College. ‘Duffy’ had travelled from Australia – although it’s true he was also going to the rugby. Mind you, I like people asking what car I drive, as it’s a BMW that our younger son Duncan won in a raffle seven years ago when he was 12, to support FC United of Manchester, the supporter-owned club formed after Manchester United was taken over by the Glazers.

jonathan in edinburgh oct 2015

I’ve had a busy few months with alumni reunions, as I also had a 40th reunion at UWC Atlantic College, where coincidentally I’ve just taken over as Chair of the Board of Governors, and one of my class mates is also a Governor. While the Edinburgh reunion was entirely our own initiative, meeting in a pub by the Castle, the Atlantic College reunion was organised by the College, and in return our year-group pledged significant sums to fund student scholarships.

Jonathan pictured at UWC in 1975, and in 2015.

Jonathan pictured at UWC Atlantic College in 1975, and in 2015.

And at Kellogg we held our Gaudy dinner on September 19th, along with various academic events linked to the University alumni reunion weekend. There was an Edinburgh link, as in my after-dinner remarks I told the joke that had just been voted 10th-best at this year’s Edinburgh Festival – “They say you should live your dreams. But I don’t want to be naked, taking an exam I haven’t prepared for!”.

Addressing members of Kellogg College at the Gaudy Dinner in September, 2015.

Addressing members of Kellogg College at the Gaudy Dinner in September, 2015.

I’m pleased to say that we received generous alumni donations, which we will put primarily towards creating the College Hub – a café and Common Room space at the heart of the College, designed to create a welcoming environment for all alumni and other members and friends of the College – particularly appropriate therefore for Alumni engagement.

In September we also had great Kellogg turnouts at the University alumni receptions in Hong Kong and Beijing, and we’re already planning for next April’s gathering in Washington DC, and for an event in Singapore also early next year.

Then this month we held Kellogg’s first-ever telethon, and I’m delighted that our alumni responded positively – so much so that the University contributed £20k matched funding after we’d passed that mark. These monies will go primarily to student scholarships.

At Kellogg we are determined to continue to enhance our alumni engagement – both with the College, and in supporting our alumni to keep in touch with each other.

Jonathan Michie