Posted Tuesday 12 December 2023
In this year's round-up, we celebrate the individual achievements of Kingston alumni, as well as the different ways Kingston alumni volunteers and donors have supported our students to make this a brilliant 12 months for Kingston University. Here are some of the highlights from 2023.
In January we celebrated almost 3,000 Kingston new graduates crossing the stage at our Winter Graduations, and 160 Kingston alumni from the Class of 1956 to Class of 1979 who attended a special Honorary Degree in Education graduation ceremony. Our Class of 2022 winter graduates raised over £2,500 to support hardship grants for future Kingston students as part of their Graduating Class Gift.
The New Year's Honours recognised the contributions of Kingston alumni Alison Cryer MBE, Founder of Representation Plus, Lee Freeman KPM, Chief Constable of Humberside Police, Laura Harling, Founder of The Dot Collective and Adam Matthews OBE, Head of Global Digital Transformation at Connected Places Catapult.
It was a speedy start to February with journalism alumna Emma Curzon winning the Sky Sports News shorthand award.
Kingston alumni with a passion for enterprise supported and motivated students at each stage of this year’s Bright Ideas Competition, including a keynote speech from business alumna Oriele Frank at the Bright Ideas Grand Final celebrations.
In March, Kingston alumnus David Chipperfield was awarded the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize to celebrate his significant contributions to the industry.
We were delighted to be joined by Kingston alumni for a host of events including David Conway, Human Resources Director for Gatwick Airport launching the HRM Hot Topics lecture series, Matt Fowler, Aerodynamicist at Aston Martin F1, delivering a career talk to engineering students, and our Upgrade Masterclass on ‘Building your personal brand’ with life coach Careeta Robert-Green, personal stylist Daniel Tyson, business lecturer Victoria Walsh, and fashion marketer Anna Wrońska.
Our Inspire the Future Campaign kicked off April with Kingston student callers having over 1,300 conversations! Kingston alumni generously donated over £60,000 to support students, including the Student Hardship Fund, making a huge difference to those Kingston students most impacted by cost-of-living increases.
In May, BAFTA award-winning music alumnus Robert Edwards got the international party started as Head of Sound for Eurovision. Journalism alumna Hind Joucka, founder of artmejo celebrated winning the British Council UK Alumni Award for Creativity and Culture in Jordan.
Beyond Barriers mentors and mentees came together for a celebratory event at the Town House. Our mentors came from a wide variety of industries, and this year two thirds were Kingston alumni. We also welcomed back Class of 2009 alumni for a reunion at the Picton Room.
Over the summer, we launched this year’s Big Read: Alumni Chapter and book club featuring Hello World by Hannah Fry. Culture vultures enjoyed being back on campus for the KSA Show at Knights Park, a Kingston Alumni Crafternoon at the Stanley Picker Gallery, and a Kingston Alumni Filmmaking and Photography networking event at the Town House.
Kingston alumni participated in the Festival of Research and Innovation 2023, exploring sustainability issues through a series of events such as the ‘Become Carbon Literate’ workshop.
Around 3,000 graduates crossed the stage in our Summer Graduations alongside author Kit de Waal and journalist Samira Ahmed who received honorary doctorates, and Kingston alumni Jonathan Lewis and Vince Tallent who were recognised for their contributions to business and philanthropy. The summer graduates raised over £4,200 for the Class Gift 2023 to support the Student Hardship Fund.
The celebrations continued into September as Kingston University received a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), and was shortlisted for Outstanding Entrepreneurial University in the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards.
Kingston alumnus and BBC Radio 1Xtra presenter Eddie Kadi brought extra sparkle to the month as a contestant on this year’s Strictly Come Dancing.
Get Better Books, a collaboration between Kingston alumna Georgina Potier and academic Dr Jake Abrams was rolled out across hospitals in the UK – the initial idea was part-funded by our crowdfunding site KUBacker.
In October, Kingston School of Art alumni Eden Bunce and Jack Allfrey picked up awards at The Furniture Makers’ Company 2023, and Rebecca Wong won the Street/Casual award in the ARTS THREAD Global Design Graduate Show.
In November, our Upgrade Masterclass on ‘Food Matters' with nutrition alumni Genesis Ali and Amina Taki, honorary graduate Craig Sams and academic Hilda Mulrooney explored how our food choices have changed and the impact on our physical and mental health.
Kingston alumni came together to contribute to a KU Cares Christmas appeal to send a small gift to help our KU Cares students feel supported over the winter break.
In December, Kingston University students, alumni, staff, business leaders and MPs attended the launch of the Future Skills: The Kingston Approach report, which aims to ensure every student has the skills they need to succeed in an AI-first world of work.
Kingston University rounded off the year with a Green Gown Award win, recognising our commitment to sustainability both as an institution and through the development of student-led projects.