It’s always great to look back on those memorable days by reconnecting and reminiscing with friends. Lockdown during coronavirus has given many of us a chance to do just that – virtually.
In March, we launched our virtual reunion campaign, encouraging alumni to get their peers together. We were inundated with pictures and tales of graduations held both virtually and before lockdown came into force.
Here are some of the stories you shared with us:
A 50-year celebration of Physiology and Biochemistry
In October 1967, 55 eager new undergraduates gathered in Southampton to study for a degree in Physiology and Biochemistry, a newly formed department. They would later graduate on Friday 10 July 1970, attending their ceremony at Southampton Guildhall.
To mark the 50th anniversary of their graduation, a group of alumni who had kept in touch through the years decided to gather in Southampton to celebrate.
Originally arranged to take place on Highfield Campus in the Blue Room, the coronavirus pandemic meant their plans needed to change. Instead, the group turned to the internet to celebrate their University milestone.
They spent time catching up on the last 50 years, discussing both their personal and working lives, as well as looking back on the current affairs of the 1970s:
The group intend to reconnect in person on Tuesday 6 July 2021. If you are part of this cohort and would like to join the celebrations, please contact Rachael Tyler, Engagement and Campaign Manager, at email@example.com
1970s University band reunion
From 1971 to 1972, Thomas Thatcher, Peter Smith, and Robert Milner – along with Roadie Paul Griffiths and later Paul McElhatton – formed the only University band of the time.
Gland Band played all around the south, as well as many University-backed shows such as Camek and Cockney Rebel. Tom, speaking of his time in the band, says:
“We were very good, and despite primitive gear and no money, showed many big bands the door! We played every University gig, concert, festival, and party – and had a real following.”
Nearly 50 years later, life has taken the members to different professions: Peter now works as Professor of Pharmacology at Edmonton University, and Bob is an engineer who has built a career in aviation design. Despite being spread across the globe, the friends still find time to meet, having reunited four times over the years. The trio are often joined by the band’s next generation of musicians, with Tom’s daughter Isobel on guitar and vocals, and son Dominic on the sax.
If you have been inspired to reconnect with your friends, head over to our Replay site, where we’ve put together a five-step guide to help you host a virtual reunion. Within the guide, you’ll find an album of iconic Southampton campus images to set as your background and nostalgic decade-by-decade playlists to help you reminisce.
Or maybe now that lockdown has begun to lift, you’re keen to see your old friends in person? Whatever form your get-together takes, and no matter how big or small, we’d love to hear about it! Share your pictures and stories of reunions past and present on social media using #UoSReunion, or email them to Rachael Tyler, Engagement and Campaign Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll feature them on our own channels for you!