Coleraine at 50
'Early Years' Reunion at Ulster University, Coleraine.

'Early Years' Reunion at Ulster University, Coleraine.

Picture above from left to right are: Eddie Friel, director of Development and Alumni relations, Ken Ward former staff member, Ronan Corvin graduate and first ever student to register in 1968, Dr Karise Hutchinson Provost at Coleraine, James Logan graduate and member of the organising committee, Professor Alan Sharp former Provost at Coleraine and David Jackson CEO of Causeway Coast and Glens District Council.

The Coleraine campus was awash with graduates, former staff and friends from former NUU (New University of Ulster) days who came back to the University for an Early Years’ reunion on 7 and 8 September.

The weekend provided the perfect opportunity to reminisce, enjoy a campus tour and history lecture (telling the story of the campus’s history from NUU to today), followed by a reunion dinner, with guests sharing stories and toasting a drink to those that have passed.

The weekend was organised and led by the Development and Alumni Relations Office in partnership with Dr Karise Hutchinson, Provost of the Coleraine campus, and it was designed to allow guests to catch up with old friends from the 1960s and 70s, while marking the campus’ 50th anniversary.

Dr Karise Hutchinson, Provost of Coleraine, said:

“As part of our celebrations of Ulster University marking 50 years since its foundation in Coleraine, throughout the year, we seek to share the journey of past, present and future with our staff, students, alumni and the greater Coleraine community.

“During this Early Years’ reunion, the first students/graduates and staff were able to catch up, reminisce and celebrate their time at Coleraine, at what is an exciting time for the University, as we reflect on our history of excellence, innovation and breaking boundaries, and present our ambitious plans for the future. I would like to extend my thanks to Róisín McNamara, Alumni Relations Manager and the DARO team for their support in making this event happen.”

A wealth of talented and reputable graduates from the Coleraine campus have made their mark across many institutes and professions, including two Knighthoods, the late Sir Gareth Roberts and Sir John McCanny, along with two Vice-Chancellorships, Sir Gareth Roberts and Professor Robin Williams, three FRSs (Fellowships of the Royal Society), one Regius Professor (Sir John McCanny), at least four Professors, two CBEs, one OBE and one of Ireland’s best known contemporary poets/physicist Dr Iggy McGovern (Iggy).

“I want to thank you and the other staff at Coleraine for your organisation of the 50th anniversary reunion for early years alumni. I know I speak for all with whom I caught up at the event that the warm welcome and programme far outweighed our expectations and we are truly grateful.” Ronin Corvin, Coleraine graduate

“Thank you for the excellent two days.  Please thank all your staff who contributed to making them so successful.  I thoroughly enjoyed all of the planned activities.  I also enjoyed some sentimental catching-up in the free time, walking around both Portstewart and Portrush.  If there was a downside, it was that I was aware of how much we had all aged!  ‘Gone, alas, like our youth too soon.’” Alex Wood, Coleraine graduate.

“The reunion was a great success. The organisation and care that went into it showed in the fine way we were looked after and kept amused and interested throughout, from Friday evening, through Saturday and into the excellent dinner that evening.  My thanks to you and everyone involved, especially those who work behind the scenes to ensure everything goes to plan and never meet those who benefit from their pains. Everyone we came in contact with was kind and thoughtful - even when a few of us looked into the Diamond, the man putting up some lights (or taking them down?) stopped what he was doing to switch on the main lighting to give us a better view. I am so glad I decided to come. It was great to meet so many old friends.” Don Jordan, Coleraine graduate.

Throughout this 50th year, the celebrations at Coleraine are continuing with a range of events and celebrations. Find out more at

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