I visited San Francisco earlier this month.
Our Chancellor, HRH Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, was there to host a reception for our alumni and supporters on the West Coast - the largest gathering we ever held in the US and a fitting start to the international celebrations of our 50th anniversary.
Held at the top of the Fairmont Hotel on Nob Hill in San Francisco with wonderful views of the Bay, including Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge, the event was energetic and all the attendees really engaged – ranging from alumni of 40 years ago to ones from 2015. It is amazing what careers Bath graduates create for themselves – influential in so many walks of life.
While there, I also visited the University of California San Francisco QB3 business incubator to see how they do things.
Even more exciting, I visited the Tesla car factory in Fremont, hosted by our Honorary Graduate Gilbert Passin, and learnt about their amazing recent development. We talked about placement students going there and I cannot imagine a more exciting opportunity. I also drove one of the cars – just delicious, so environmentally-friendly, so fast and so stable! What more can you ask for?
I spoke to several of our great supporters on the visit, including Anthony Lye and Fernando Flores-New, and I also met some new people who have the ability to be tremendously helpful in the future. Just as an example, I think I should mention that one of our graduates, Randy Newcomb arranged for Humanity United with the British Consulate to give a lunch for several charities who would be interested in our work in Jordan and in South Africa. I look forward to working with them to further both our research and provision of education in these countries.
It was a short visit but a rich and productive one. I thank everyone – in the University and outside of it – for making it so valuable. I particularly thank our Chancellor who made a special effort to be there.
Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell
President & Vice-Chancellor
The Vice-Chancellor joined our Chancellor and 200 guests to play a key role in the official opening of The Edge, our new arts and management building, including delivering an opening speech.
The event received very positive coverage in both the local media and sector press.
Nearly 100 alumni and friends from across the United States recently joined the Chancellor, HRH The Earl of Wessex, and the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell DBE DL, for a special reception at the Essex House Hotel, New York.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell presents at the alumni reception in New York. Also pictured is the Chancellor, HRH The Earl of Wessex, and Michael Ashworth
The Chancellor welcomed guests to the event and introduced Professor Breakwell who spoke about the University’s recent good news including our excellent REF results and topping the National Student Survey for student satisfaction for a second year running. Guests also heard about our plans for the upcoming 50th anniversary, and the important role of alumni within that, before enjoying the chance to chat with the Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor over drinks and canapés.
As the first event in North America hosted by a University of Bath Chancellor, the evening also provided the perfect opportunity to celebrate two of our generous donors: Mike Ashworth (BSc Economics with Computing & Statistics 1986) signed the Chancellor’s Roll of Honour in recognition of his cumulative contributions to the University over a number of years and Honorary DSc, Professor Raymond F Schinazi (BSc Chemistry 1972 and PhD Chemistry 1976) formally announced his gift of $500,000 to the University of Bath Foundation. University fundraising in the USA has a long tradition, and it is encouraging to see signs that Bath is now beginning to benefit too.
Denise and Bob Fisher, with the Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell
A selection of photographs from the evening are available on the Alumni Relations Flickr page. If you have any of your own please do send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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