University seeks missing alumni
UCLan wants to reconnect with lost alumni ahead of celebratory event
The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is on a mission to find and reconnect with its 200,000 alumni ahead of a celebratory event next year.
If you, or someone you know, studied at Harris College, Preston Polytechnic, Lancashire Polytechnic or UCLan then the University wants to hear from you.
The University’s Alumni Team is looking for more graduates to come forward to share their memories of their time studying and living in Preston.
Maggie Wild, UCLan’s Head of Development and Alumni, said: “Our alumni community of more than 200,000 graduates is a huge part of our long and celebrated history and we want to reconnect with as many as possible.
“We want to hear from those who graduated from Harris College in the 1950s and 60s, those who studied at the polytechnics during the 70s to early 90s, those who have graduated with a UCLan qualification over the past 30 years right up to those who took the graduation stage of the Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre in summer.
"Our alumni community of more than 200,000 graduates is a huge part of our long and celebrated history and we want to reconnect with as many as possible"— Maggie Wild, UCLan’s Head of Fundraising and Alumni
“We know thousands of alumni made enduring friendships and met their lifelong partners while we have also welcomed many generations of families through the doors. We want more people to get in touch so they can reminisce about those happy years and share their photos and memories.”
The University hosts annual Harris alumni reunion events and is looking to start similar events for more groups of alumni, in addition to planning a large reunion event for all former graduates.
Husband and wife Neil and Rita Clarkson are regular attendees at Harris alumni reunion events. Neil started at the Harris in the late 1950s and studied engineering at various levels until he completed his HND in 1969.
He said: “I wouldn’t have got the job I had if it wasn’t for the Harris. I won Apprentice of the Year when I was studying the Ordinary National Certificate and it made a big difference and provided me with opportunities. I also wouldn’t have got to university and have been in the position to study a masters if I didn’t have that foundation.
“During my time in the early days at the Harris, we used to get every Wednesday afternoon off to do what we want. I used to play for the football team and one of the Preston North End players used to come and coach us. It was brilliant. The Harris Alumni reunions are wonderful. I enjoy meeting friends and hearing stories from other Harris members.”
"I wouldn’t have got the job I had if it wasn’t for the Harris. I won Apprentice of the Year when I was studying the Ordinary National Certificate and it made a big difference and provided me with opportunities"— Alumnus Neil Clarkson
Rita studied on a secretarial course at the Harris Commercial School in the late 50s/early 60s after she finished grammar school. She initially studied during the day and when she started work, she continued to study at evening class.
She commented: “It was a privilege to study at the Harris. Whatever job I applied for after that I always got and that was due to the education. The Harris also allowed me to work and study at the same time so I could earn a wage. I remember learning to type to the Air Force March. I thoroughly enjoy the reunions and meeting old friends as well as new people.”
All UCLan graduates can access lifetime careers advice, get free business support, use the on-campus Library and access gym facilities at reduced prices.
To get in touch with UCLan’s Alumni Team, email the team, visit the dedicated webpage or use #UCLanAlumni on social media.