Oxford Geographers 1954-57 and friends
24 alumni and their guests, having travelled from as far as Australia, came together for this special reunion and enjoyed a day of reconnecting with each other and their subject.
The programme organised by alumnus Brian Bissell was designed to give the group a comprehensive overview of the School today: teaching and research, facilities and people, its place within the University and the world beyond.
Dr Fiona McConnell gave them insights into the current undergraduate course and Head of School, Professor Heather Viles, presented her research on heritage conservation, reflecting this year's SoGE Annual Lecture. On a whistle-stop tour with Development Officer, Ian Curtis, they had the chance to explore the new building and learn many a fact about what has happened since they graduated in 1957. In 'Five-minute Memories' they shared their own stories post-Oxford and how geography featured in their lives and careers - a fascinating account of all the ways in which this discipline can become useful. Group member Peter Jolly, former President of the British Cartographic Society and now volunteer with the Bodleian's Map Room, gave a fascinating talk about 'Extraordinary Maps', from the Hereford Mappa Mundi to a walk-on geological map of Yorkshire.
At lunchtime, the Herbertson Room turned from a humble seminar room into a banqueting hall, and a celebration cake, studded with candles and ceremonially cut by organiser Brian Bissel, Alumni Relations Officer Christine Baro-Hone and Ian Curtis, marked the end of a very special day, which left our guests impressed and inspired:
"Just when we thought that Geography was the best subject for its breadth and relevance of teaching for life, we discovered that it had got even better! I wish I was 60 years younger and could start all over again."
"Without seeing and hearing direct one could not comprehend the school's changes in the last 60 years. One wonders what changes will have taken place 60 years from now."
Organiser Brian Bissell sharing his Five-minute Memory
Photo of 1954-57 alumni