Summer in the city
Over 300 guests enjoyed a three day festival of talks, tours, exhibitions and events at Alumni Weekend 2015.
Alumni and friends of the University were provided with,
something to think about this summer, as a special series of events brought graduates back to their alma mater for a weekend of bold thinking, debate, and nostalgia.
Alumni Weekend 2015, which took place over the first weekend in June, saw alumni from as far afield as the USA, Ghana, Kenya, France, Germany and Belgium return to the University. 70 years of Edinburgh student experiences were represented on campus with one guest having studied during the Second World War, graduating in 1945.
Back to school
The weekend provided an opportunity for alumni to hear from world-leading academics as they provided insight into current research and innovations.
This year’s event focused on the work being done by the College of Science and Engineering and included a tour and demonstration at the FloWave Ocean Energy Research Facility, the world’s most sophisticated ocean simulator. Conceived for cutting edge academic research, the 25-metre diameter circular tank can replicate, at one-twentieth scale or larger, complex combinations of currents and tides found around the world.
From the beginning
Science and engineering provided a focus, but it wasn’t the only area of academic life where returning graduates were treated to exclusive behind the scenes access. Head of Special Collections, Joseph Marshall was on hand to share his knowledge of rare books and manuscripts with those who attended the Library Treasures Tour.
One manuscript which alumni had the opportunity to examine was the Charter of Confirmation and Novodamus, a document signed by King James VI on 14 April 1582 that led to the opening of Edinburgh University in October 1583. The document first stipulates that the ecclesiastical properties and revenues gifted by Mary, Queen of Scots may now also be employed for educational purposes.
A golden age?
Honorary graduate Jon Snow, provided a weekend highlight with his lecture exploring the future of journalism in a shifting media landscape. Reflecting on his career, including tales from his early days in journalism, he addressed the challenges and opportunities facing news media today.
The lecture was followed by lively panel discussion and audience Q&A, chaired by Professor Charlie Jeffery, Senior Vice Principal, which examined the issues and implications for news organisations. Panellists Mandy Rhodes, Managing Editor of Holyrood Communications and Editor of Holyrood magazine, Ian Stewart, Editorial Director of the Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday, and Professor Chris Carter, Professor of Strategy and Organization at the University's Business School provided insight and differing perspectives.
The weekend was also an opportunity to relax, reminisce and socialise with Saturday’s ceilidh at Pollock Halls a particularly exuberant affair that would have put current students to shame.
The weekend also played host to a number of General Council events including a talk from Dr Hermione Cockburn, Scientific Director of Dynamic Earth, who credits her time at Edinburgh as a significant factor in her successful science and media career.
You can view an album of photographs from the event via Flickr.