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June 2007 Alumni Reunion

Geology/Earth Sciences Reunion

30th June 2007

On Saturday 30th June, Mike Benton and Liz Loeffler were delighted to meet with twenty or so former students of the department, some accompanied by their partners, who returned to Bristol for Convocation Reunion Weekend.

Wet and windy weather may have necessitated relocation of the reunion lunch for 1977 and 1982 graduates, from Royal Fort Gardens to the Hawthorns, but it failed to dampen the pleasure of meeting with old friends again - everyone was soon catching up with news, and reminiscing about old times.

Almost all of the Earth Sciences group had been undergraduates in the former Geology Department from 1974-1977, and the plan to get them all together again to celebrate 30 years since their graduation, had been organised and masterminded by Nigel Smyth, Jane Whaley, Kay Deadman and Glyn Morris. Some of the group had also remained in the department after 1977, or had joined us soon afterwards, to study for postgraduate degrees.

Group photo of students of the 1977 graduation year on a field trip to Shropshire
1977 graduation year on a field excursion to Shropshire

After listening to welcoming speeches and and enjoying a leisurely lunch, the Earth Sciences alumni transferred to Wills Memorial Building for a tour of the department. The thirty years since 1977 have brought many changes, the most obvious being the relocation of the department from Queen's Building to Wills Memorial Building in 1985, and a more recent change of name - from Geology to Earth Sciences.

Mike Benton gave a brief update on some of the other important developments that have taken place, and an introduction to teaching and research activities in the department today. Refreshed with tea and biscuits, the group were then taken on a brief tour of the Inner Court labs, where Pam Gill talked about her work on the jaws of early mammals and Mike Benton showed off some of the analytical equipment. They also saw the teaching labs, and admired a display of undergraduate posters in G27.

Many of the alumni had brought photos with them, and so they ended the afternoon by staging an entertaining slideshow which brought back memories of some amusing and (embarrassing?) episodes during what had evidently been very happy times at Bristol and on departmental field trips. The group left the department at around 5.30 pm, with promises to return again soon, and were last seen heading towards Clifton to rediscover old haunts....

If anyone else has photos of the weekend, please send them (or preferably a link to them) to me to add this site.

Liz Loeffler - July 2007

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