Posted Monday 29 June 2015
Kingston University alumnus James Keeley shares his memories of the alumni reunion celebrating the 50th anniversary of Kingston Law School.
On Wednesday 17 June 2015 alumni from the past fifty years attended Kingston Law School's 50th anniversary event at Middle Temple. Over 250 of our graduates, the elite of the legal world, including judges, QCs, senior partners of law firms and distinguished academics, came to celebrate the fact that we are 50 years young!
Fortunately, the weather stayed fine and we were able to have our aperitifs and main course in the relaxed but beautiful surroundings of Middle Temple gardens. In Shakespeare's Henry VI, it was here the War of the Roses began. However, on this evening there was nothing but old friends and colleagues from years past catching up and reminiscing about their times as students and lecturers at Kingston. Amazingly, the attendees spanned the whole 50 years of Kingston Law School's existence!
After speeches by Kingston senior staff and one of the stars of the Bar, Nigel Pleming QC, we retired into Middle Temple Hall where dessert was served. The Hall is one of the most historic in the world – Queen Elizabeth I dined here and it was where Shakespeare's Twelfth Night was first performed.
Through speeches made by former students, including Professor Meryll Dean and Philip Nisbett, we were reminded of the enormous impact Kingston Law School has had on so many of us. Leslie Thomas QC also made a wonderful speech explaining the positive impact Kingston has had on his life.
We were fortunate to have four previous heads of Kingston Law School present, including Roger Holmes and Professor Robert Upex. Robert looked especially well leaving us all asking him how he manages to look so youthful!
The conversations continued until late. I did not want the night to end. However, with numbers and email addresses exchanged and promises being made to keep in contact we made our respective ways home.
Our undergraduate days are some of the most special we will ever experience in our lives. These years leave an indelible hallmark on most of us. However, through the vicissitudes of life some of us lose contact with very special people from our student days. Reunions help us re-connect. Also, being ex-Kingstonians we are part of one extended family. Celebrations of the kind we experienced at this event help us meet new people who also studied at Kingston.
Heartfelt thanks are given to the Law School and alumni team who worked so hard to make this incredible night happen. For it is only through their perseverance that we are all reminded that we will always have a home in Kingston.
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