Amidst the splendour of the University’s permanent art collection, President of the Hull Alumni Association, Sir Paul Grant, kicked off the evening with the AGM itself which looked back on the work of HAA and DARO in the previous calendar year – 2017. This was a momentous year for us because it coincided with Hull’s year in the spotlight as City of Culture and included our largest ever alumni event – a unique party for 400 alumni and guests on hull’s historic waterfront in a converted dry-dock. Other highlights of 2017 included the Launch of Hull Alumni Connects, a new networking platform for our alumni and the continued development of our professional networks.
Sir Paul gave a vivid sense of just how extensive and powerful our network is, indicating that we had 87,419 contactable alumni at the end of December 2017, based in 175 of the 195 member or observer states of the UN. He went on to cite the influence of alumni in the governance of the university and Hull University Union before highlighting a select number of notable individual achievements. This included Ana Brnabic’s appointment as the first female and openly gay Prime Minister of Serbia, Matthew Wright’s appointment as CEO of Dong Energy (now Orsted) and James Graham’s prolific spell of success in the theatre world.
After the AGM was concluded we were delighted to be joined by the University’s Chapel Choir for their last performance of 2018. Under the inspirational leadership of lecturer and Choir Master Simon Desbruslais, the choir delivered a stirring festive song cycle. Highlights included a powerful opening performance of “Once in Royal David’s City”, Cecil Alexander’s paean of incarnation and redemption, Simon’s own choral composition of “White Christmas” and Holst’s original setting of Christina Rossetti’s masterpiece of melancholy and reflection, “In the Bleak Midwinter”.
Interspersed with some celestial singing, the choir also treated alumni to Christmas readings in both English and German before ending the evening with a rousing version of the traditional closing carol “O Come All Ye Faithful”.
Sir Paul and the staff of Development and Alumni Relations would like to thank all alumni, supporters and friends for making 2017 such a great year in alumni engagement. We’ll look forward to reporting back on 2018 at our next AGM.