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Big Read: Alumni Chapter

The Kingston University Big Read is an initiative to welcome new students as they settle in to campus life, by giving them an opportunity to all read the same book. The chosen novel is sent to our newest intake of students over the summer break, as well as being available for free to current staff and students to get the whole University immersed in the project.

In 2017, the Big Read won a Times Higher Education Award in the Widening Participation category, and we also opened the project to alumni for the first time with the Big Read: Alumni Chapter.

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The Kingston University Big Read: Alumni Chapter

Our first book in 2015 was Kingston University alumnus Nick Hornby's About A Boy. In 2016, we read Matt Haig's The Humans, in 2017, Kit de Waal's My Name Is Leon, and in 2018 Gail Honeyman's Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. For the 2019/20 academic year, we will be reading Rachel Joyce's award-winning novel The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, and we'd love for you to read along with us.

As alumni, we always want you to feel welcome, and that this is your university, no matter how long it is since you graduated. We'd love to welcome you back - either virtually or in person - and becoming a member of the Alumni Chapter is a way to do just that. You will be able to read alongside us and will be invited to exclusive author events and reading groups throughout the year, where you will be able to discuss both the Big Read novel and other books. Membership is £25 per year, and after the cost of getting your book to you is deducted (approximately £3-£5 per item within the UK) 100% of your membership will be split evenly between building the Big Read project even further, and enabling students from disadvantaged backgrounds to thrive at Kingston.

Members of the Kingston University Big Read: Alumni Chapter will:

  • Receive their Kingston University Big Read book at the start of the academic year alongside new Kingston-bound students. Each book is a special edition, with a welcome message from the Vice-Chancellor and a unique letter from the book's author.
  • Be invited to exclusive ‘Meet the Author' and other events throughout the year. These events will only be open to current students and Kingston University Big Read: Alumni Chapter members.
  • Be welcomed into the University-wide Kingston University Big Read online discussion groups with academic staff and students.
  • Support the Big Read project into the future and also help provide bursaries and additional pastoral support to our students who have left care - like Leon, the protagonist of 2017's book, as well as Eleanor Oliphant herself. 

We hope you will join us and stay involved in the Kingston University community at whatever level suits you. Whether that be through attending events in person, engaging in online discussions with academics or simply reading along in private, we hope you find this an enjoyable and stimulating way of keeping involved with your university.

If you have any questions, please never hesitate to get in touch with the Alumni team at

Become a member of the Big Read: Alumni Chapter

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Development, Alumni Relations and Engagement
Kingston University
River House
53–57 High Street
Kingston Upon Thames

Tel: +44 (0)208 417 3178
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