Congratulations to the class of 2016 and our alumni volunteers

Here on the Alumni Team, we look forward to every graduation season, and this summer was extra special as we were joined for the first time by our alumni volunteers.

Graduation 2016Over the nine days of Award Ceremonies, 20 wonderful alumni volunteers helped us to personally congratulate nearly 3000 graduates and welcome the class of 2016 to the alumni community. Each of our newest alumni was presented with a small gift, a Polaroid-style framed print of a photo tweeted with #UWEgraduation, as a lasting memento of the day.

A standing ovation for Jeremiah

We were proud of every one of our alumni and one made us prouder than ever when we were privileged to see him achieve a personal goal.

Following a road accident in 2011, law graduate Jeremiah Daliel has been confined to a wheelchair. In Freshers' week of his first year here at UWE Bristol he promised his classmates he would work “extra hard health wise” to achieve his goal of standing for graduation.

We were all honoured to see him keep his promise, as he stood un-aided for the first time in five years to receive his award, making this an even more memorable and inspirational occasion for us all. Read more about Jeremiah’s story.

A standing ovation for our volunteers

So what had inspired our volunteers to get involved?

"It was very enjoyable to spend time at my old 'poly'" said volunteer Shirley Davies, "as well as a delight and privilege to greet the new alumni!"

"I enjoyed my graduation in 2008 and wanted to help today, and be part of welcoming alumni", said Jason Western, whilst for Lucky Imarhiagbe it was "To help other students enjoy the day and also to network with other alumni."

"Having recently retired, I wanted to take some opportunities for volunteering", said Clive Bridgman. "I especially welcomed the opportunity to show my appreciation to UWE for giving me the opportunity to gain a law degree."

For Joanne Beaton it was "to return to UWE after six years and enjoy the celebration. To share my experiences since graduating with others, and offer advice to new teachers."

100% of our volunteers said they found the volunteering work rewarding, and that they would be likely to volunteer again.

"I decided to volunteer as I wanted to "give something back" to UWE, “said Sara-Jane Gauntlett. “I felt I could contribute to supporting students at their graduation as I have personal experience of this ceremony. I would like to encourage you to continue to recruit Alumni Volunteers as we have great experience and skills gained whilst studying at UWE that we can use to support current students."

Are you inspired to get involved with this Autumn’s ceremonies? If you would like to join us at Bristol Cathedral from 21–24 November, please contact alumni@uwe.ac.uk by Monday 31 October.

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