Highlights of 2016
Greenwich Portraits – May
Anyone in doubt that our graduates have the world in their grasp only had to attend the launch of Greenwich Portraits in May. The exhibition featured the CEOs of several global companies, two world sport champions, an Oscar winner, a Nobel Prize recipient and an international grime artist, among a host of outstanding alumni and students.
The 27 stunning portraits by award-winning photographer Diane Patrice also included leaders of local councils, housing associations, schools, charities and student bodies. As Vice-Chancellor Professor David Maguire said, “The people included in this project represent us all and illustrate why I am exceptionally proud of this extraordinary University of Greenwich community.”
Alumnus of the Year – July
Human rights activist and lawyer Shabina Begum, one of those featured in Greenwich Portraits, was doubly honoured when she was named Alumnus of the Year 2016. She received her award at the annual Chancellor’s Dinner, held in the Painted Hall at Greenwich in July.
Shabina, who graduated in LLB Hons Law in 2008, was recognised for her campaigning to eradicate domestic violence and halt the growing incidence of acid attacks. Still only 29, she has spoken at a United Nations Commission and been recognised as one of the “top 100 influential Bangladeshis in the UK”. Shabina is currently Assistant Solicitor at Dawson Cornwell, specialising in divorce, children disputes, domestic and honour based violence and forced marriage.
Graduation – July & October
July and October saw the lawns of Greenwich and ancient streets of Rochester populated once more with students in gowns and mortar boards and their delighted families. Graduation is the true highlight of the academic year and the exciting moment when we welcome thousands of new alumni to our ranks.
Our Facebook page was a riot of graduates with dayglo wigs atop mortar boards, letting their hair down with friends in the pop-up Alumni Photobooth. We thought a little fun was in order after the formalities of collecting all those degrees.
Graduation also provided the perfect moment to unveil our benefits package of careers support, paid internships and more. The service is available for two years after graduating. Other alumni benefits include up to 20% off postgraduate study, free use of the university libraries, discounted gym rates and discounts from leading brands like Apple.
Outcome – October
One of the things Greenwich does best is celebrate diversity. The photographer and Greenwich alumnus Tom Dingley helped us mark National Coming Out Day (11 October) with a whole week of events linked to his LGBT portrait project, #Outcome.
Tom began to photograph LGBT people holding snaps of themselves as children, in 2014. Today there are over 100 portraits including Bake Off’s John Whaite and Emmerdale’s Alicya Eyo. The images tell an intimate story of individual journeys, which Tom hopes will show young people developing an awareness of their sexuality that “it gets better”.
The #Outcome exhibition, and new book published by Arachne Press, launched to a packed hall with inspirational speeches from Tom and some of the people featured. Students and staff had the chance to meet them, and be photographed for the project at events supported by the LGBT+ Staff Network and Students’ Union.
And the talent goes on. David Waterworth, curator of University of Greenwich Galleries which hosted #Outcome, is even now planning an exhibition with award-winning artist and Greenwich alumnus Karl Ohiri for the New Year.