Over 200 alumni of all ages gathered in London this January for a spirited evening celebrating the life of Robert Burns.
Live music, rousing speeches and haggis all featured at the event hosted by the London Alumni Network in Hotel Russell on Saturday 24 January. Guests were piped into a drinks reception before taking their seats for dinner.
A dramatic address to the haggis set the standard for the evening’s speeches. Vice Principal Professor Charlie Jeffery welcomed recent and less recent alumni to the event.
He mentioned by name those who graduated over forty years ago and congratulated the room for helping the University to achieve its recent high performance in the QS global ranking, which is partly based on graduate employability.
The remaining speeches were performed by Edinburgh alumni. Well known writer and film maker Kevin Toolis gave the toast to the lassies and London Alumni Network President Jane Oliver, responded with a witty toast to the laddies - comparing Burns to, among others, George Clooney and David Beckham.
Allan Little and Sheena McDonald, award winning journalism and broadcasting duo, performed a double act for an entertaining immortal memory. Best-selling author Philippa Gregory performed a four line recital of her favourite Burns poem and committee member Ann West rounded off the speeches with an impressive abridged version of Tam o’Shanter.
The evening took a vigorous turn after dinner with live music and, in the words of Ann West,
the wildest ceilidh dancing witnessed outside of Edinburgh!
All of the speakers were witnessed joining in the dancing with alumni old and young, University staff and guests. The evening was concluded with musicians from License to Ceilidh leading a rousing rendition of Auld Lang Syne.
Following the success of this event, the London Network will be hosting the first of their monthly alumni drinks events on Thursday 26 February. All are welcome. Please find details below.