Alumni and Friends

April 2017 alumni e-newsletter

Our monthly alumni e-newsletter is currently sent to over 65,000 alumni worldwide, and offers regular updates about recent events, activities and Kent student, alumni and staff successes. To receive the e-newsletter directly to your inbox, please ensure that we have up to date contact details for you, either by updating your details online, or by emailing

If you have a story you would like to share with your fellow alumni, then we would love to hear from you, so please get in touch!

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Kent on Article 50
kent alumni university challenge team shown with final score of 130 against Leeds

Last month the Prime Minister wrote to the President of the European Council announcing formally the UK's intention to withdraw from the European Union.  The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow, sets out Kent's response:


"I, and my fellow Vice Chancellors, are making clear both to the government and to our local Members of Parliament the vital contribution that our international community contributes not only to our teaching, learning, research and campus experience, but also to the economy, culture and social fabric of our region.

The University of Kent's own responses include:

  • Developing and supporting our European and other international partnerships to facilitate ongoing collaboration in research and education;
  • Reaffirming our commitment to international student exchanges;
  • Erasmus will be a major theme of Europe Day (9 May) this year;
  • Active support for a simplified and improved visa regime for international staff and international students;
  • Reviewing options for our European Centres.

As the UK's European university, Kent values intellectual and cultural diversity. We are proud to be an outward-facing and international institution with more than 25% of our students and nearly 40% of academic and research staff coming from outside the UK. I am confident that, whatever happens within the wider political picture, the strength of our own European vocation will endure."

Read more about what the next two years have in store for the UK from Kent academic, Richard Whitman in The Conversation. 

kent alumni magazine winter cover


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Events and Reunions

London Event 18 May 18.30-22.00

We are back in the capital for the 2017 London event and are delighted to invite you to join us at the Royal College of Physicians.This annual event is an opportunity for alumni to meet with University staff and each other for an evening of networking and reminiscing about days at Kent. Sadly, it will be the last with the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Julia Goodfellow, and we look forward to welcoming many familiar faces at the event. Book online.

Rutheford Reunion 28-30 July

We are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Rutherford's first full academic year with a reunion, which will centre on Rutherford College but alumni and former staff from across the University are welcome to attend and help us celebrate the foundation of Kent's second college! Book now.

Kent on the marathon

With marathon ‘season’ about to hit its stride, runners can prepare for the mental demands of these notoriously challenging events by following the advice issued by the University’s ‘psyching teams’. Introduced to the UK by Dr Carla Meijen, Lecturer in Sport Psychology in the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, ‘psyching teams’ offer help and support with practical mental strategies before, during and after long distance running events. By following the advice of Dr Meijen and her colleagues, runners can use simple techniques to prepare for mental demands such as worries about sticking to their race plan, or coping with the pain and discomfort of running a marathon. 

We caught up with a couple of members of the Kent community embarking on the London Marathon next weekend, who will hopefully be putting Dr Mejjen's tips into practice.


Sam Allen (Rutherford 10), is now a pub landlord and owns a mobile pub (Wheel Ales) which he takes to country shows, festivals and private functions across the South East of England.

"After losing my brother, Tom, to Meningitis in 2012 I chose to run the London Marathon. It was something we had always wanted to do together but never got the chance to do. This will be my fifth London Marathon for him! 
I am running for Meningitis Now who have supported us brilliantly since Toms' tragic passing. It was set up in the 1980s by Steve Dayman who lost his son to the disease and he still runs it to this day." You can find more information online.


Tim Warren, Accounts Supervisor in Kent Hospitality will be running his fourth London marathon on 23 April, after securing his ‘good for age’ place with times of 3.11 and 3.12 over the past two years.  Having started his training back in December, Tim (a member of Folkestone Running Club) is determined to get close to, or dip under the three-hour mark this time around. Although it can be a struggle to train in those cold early days, Tim gets his motivation from seeing the miles ticking over in his training runs and having the experience of feeling stronger and fitter as the race day gets closer.  He also motivates himself by writing a blog about his running experiences. 

Love at Kent

Halloween in America is a big deal; which is why Sarah Whiting, a post-graduate business student from San Diego California, made sure she and her friends attended Mungo’s Massive Halloween party. Dressed as a black cat, Sarah accidentally bumped into Jonathan, (who was wearing a football kit and bad ghost makeup) while querying his mate’s Cruella de Vil costume. They met briefly and didn’t see each other again for the rest of the night. Roughly a week later, through random events and fate, Sarah was invited into an unfamiliar flat in her Woolf College block after a lecture, where she met Jonathan again. 

Find out what happened next...

We have been overwhelmed and delighted by your stories of finding love and friendship here at Kent, do you have a story of your own to tell? Let us know!

The Footsteps tales
kasia holding 2 bricks

Who are the people behind the Crab and Winkle path on campus? Why did they choose to lay a brick? Today, meet Emily Morrey McGrath (Darwin 09).


"While visiting universities to decide where to apply, I was concerned I wouldn’t really know where I wanted to go. It’s a big decision and how can you really tell from an open day where is right for you? Walking across the Canterbury campus, where the extension of the library is now, I looked across and just knew Kent was right for me. During my time at Kent, I came to really care about the University and students, which is why I decided to give back through the Footsteps project.  As welfare officer for Darwin Student Committee, I mentored a number of students through difficult periods, including settling in, struggling to cope with the workload or with personal issues. Even though Kent is a university with thousands of students, it is still possible to create a sense of community within that.

"When I think about my time at Kent I can see how the range of opportunities and experiences I was offered there have shaped who I am today, and have contributed to the skill set I’ve taken into the workplace. When the subject of universities comes up, I’m proud to say I went to Kent. In making a donation, I hope to enable more students to experience what I did."

Find out more about Footsteps and share your stories with us.

Kent community news

carol gould

 Paris lecture a great success

On Tuesday 14 March, Professor Shane Weller gave the University’s annual Paris lecture to more than 150 invited guests in the British Ambassador’s Residence on rue du Faubourg St-Honoré.
For the lecture, entitled ‘From Dublin to Paris: Samuel Beckett and French Culture’, Professor Weller considered Samuel Beckett’s relationship with French culture, including why he decided to write in French after he emigrated from his native Dublin to Paris in 1937.
The annual lecture is both a celebration of the Paris School of Arts and Culture and an international showcase for the research undertaken at Kent.
Located in Montparnasse, the Paris School of Arts and Culture is one of Kent’s specialist European postgraduate centres. It offers advanced humanities degrees, taught in English, including taught programmes, split between Canterbury and Paris. This event also saw the launch of the new French Alumni association.


susannah townsend

 Kent shortlisted in Times Higher Education Leadership & Management Awards

The University has been shortlisted in one of higher education’s leading national awards for best practice for the way it engages with its alumni.
Kent is one of three universities shortlisted in the Alumni Engagement Award.
The award for alumni engagement will be given to the institution that ‘can best demonstrate innovation, creativity and success in encouraging alumni engagement with, and philanthropic giving to, an institution’.  

Kent's submission centres on its innovative Kent Experiences of Work Network (KEW-NET), which is a partnership between the Careers and Employability Service and the Development Office. This is an e-mentoring platform which brings together its global alumni community in support of current students and young alumni through mentoring and networking.

Kent launches more free online short courses

Kent is a member of the FutureLearn partnership, which includes many leading UK and international universities. The first MOOC (massive open online courses), was in Erlang programming, as part of the K-MOOCs ‘Beacon Project’ celebrating the University of Kent’s 50th anniversary. In addition to the Erlang programming courses, you can now access The Science of Endurance Sports Training and Performance, which starts on 24 April. Understanding Autism will be coming soon.


Innovation and Academia Awards

The University of Kent is hosting the third annual Innovation in Academia Awards Ceremony on 28 April 2017 in LA and 12 May in Athens. This year, we are recognising the pioneers in higher education who are currently at the top of their field in either North America or Europe. The winners are as follows: Dimitris Christopoulos (Europe) and Dr Philip Kotler (North America).  You can find more details online.


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Alumni Relations - Development Office

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 764000

Last Updated: 19/04/2017