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Preston’s university re-united alumni for special event

Posted on - 26th July, 2023 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Nostalgia, Preston City Centre, Preston News, UCLan, University campus
Cold Feet star John Thomson returned to Preston to speak at the alumni event

Hundreds of former students at the University of Central Lancashire returned to the city for a trip down memory lane.

Held on the University’s new central square the event saw people who studied at the former polytechnic from the 1940s to the present day learn about how the university has developed.

Among those attending were a couple from Derbyshire who met at UCLan in the early 2000s and returned to show their three children where things began for them.

Read more: Emotional moment as BBC presenter Victoria Derbyshire returns to Preston

Amy Bishop-Powell graduated in forensic science in 2005 while husband Paul graduated in 2004 in motorsports engineering.

Amy said: “I can’t believe how it’s changed so much since we both left. It’s just absolutely fantastic to see how it’s developed and what great facilities are here for today’s students. It’s been really lovely to show Reuben, Logan and Saffron where mummy and daddy met.”

The Bishop-Powell family back at UCLan

Another attendee was 90-year-old Rosemary Robinson who graduated in shorthand and typing in 1948 and went on to work at Leyland Motors.

She said: “It was Harris College back when I came but we all called it going to school. All the girls were on one floor and the boys on another. Things have changed a lot since then, but I like coming back and speaking to other people who studied here at the same time.”

Read more: UCLan’s student centre and University Square win award

Old friends catching up at the UCLan reunion

Attendees were entertained with dance performances, a silent disco and artefacts from the university archives were also on display.

Honory fellow, actor and comedian John Thomson, returned to Preston to undertake a Q&A and meet alumni.

He said: “I was truly humbled and so proud when the University awarded me with an Honorary Fellowship in 2017. With that position comes a responsibility to help UCLan in any way I can so I was delighted to be asked back to take part in such a special event.”

Read more: Preston nurse completes her fourth qualification with a PhD from UCLan

Maggie Wild, UCLan’s Head of Development and Alumni, added: “It was fantastic to hear so many heart-warming stories from graduates who studied at Harris College, Preston Polytechnic, Lancashire Polytechnic and UCLan.

“The hundreds who attended hold the institution so close to their hearts and it was clear to see the love they have for the place has never diminished. Seeing some of our oldest alumni, who are now in their 90s, chatting to a couple of 2023 graduates was lovely as they’ve had such different educational experiences but UCLan has drawn them together.”

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