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Alumni … they’re everywhere!

Professor Frank Cogliano, Dean for North America, reports on a recent encounter with a former University of Edinburgh student, showing that wherever you are in the world, you won’t be far from a fellow alumnus.

Professor Francis Cogliano, Dean North America

One night several weeks ago, while on vacation in the US, I found myself rushing through Grand Central Station to catch on MTA North train to New Haven. I made it to the train just as the doors closed. The train was very crowded and I eventually found a seat next to a young man in a University of Texas t-shirt. We struck up a conversation and it turned out that he was a rising senior at Texas who was working as a summer intern with a minor league baseball team in Connecticut. I told him that I teach at a university in Scotland. He asked where and when I named Edinburgh, he beamed, saying that he had spent his junior year abroad in Edinburgh studying business and archaeology. He was very enthusiastic about his time in Edinburgh and felt a great deal of affection for the university.

The Value of Visiting Students

This random encounter reminded me that our alumni our everywhere. Further, it was a reminder that among our alumni in North America (and elsewhere) a significant cohort are those who studied with us for a part of their degree. The young man I met was pleased when I told him that we consider all students who study at the university to be our alumni even if their ‘home’ institution is in Texas or elsewhere. Former visiting students have much to offer as they bring a comparative dimension to the experiences. We have much to learn from them.

Future Visits

In recent months I have enjoyed meeting alumni in different parts of North America. During the coming academic year I will be visiting a number of Canadian and American destinations on behalf of the university—likely stops include Toronto, Boston, New York, Boston, Washington, Houston, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. I very much enjoying meeting our alumni and would be delighted to speak with you during my travels. Perhaps I’ll run into you on a train somewhere!