This is an incredible achievement for Westminster, which won awards alongside major international universities such as Harvard, Princeton and University College London.
The alumni event series ‘What it Takes’ won the Gold Award for Innovative Alumni Program. ‘What it Takes’ offers engaging insights into relevant topics for students and young graduates. Each talk is delivered by one or more alumni who have each achieved something amazing, overcome barriers to success or exceeded expectations in their career. Talks have so far included ‘What it Takes to be a YouTuber’, ‘What it Takes to be an Entrepreneur’ and ‘What it Takes to be LGTBI and Proud’.
The judges commended the series for its clear connection to the personal stories, challenges and triumphs of the speakers which brought layers and nuances to the talks, and commented that the series exposed students to real-world topics in a safe venue.
The Development and Alumni Team won a second Gold Award for their collaboration with the Career Development Centre’s Student Mentoring Scheme, a programme that has involved over 700 alumni mentors supporting hundreds of students and young graduates. The scheme connects students with alumni mentors who are already established in their fields of professional interest to share their professional experiences and provide guidance.
The programme was awarded generous funding from the Quintin Hogg Trust in 2017, enabling the scheme to take its success to new heights and make a significant impact on the employability outcomes of our graduates. The CASE Circle of Excellence Awards recognise outstanding programmes in advancement, alumni relations, communications, fundraising and marketing. They are judged by peer professionals at schools, colleges and universities as well as professionals outside of education. This year, CASE awarded nearly 350 bronze, silver, gold and grand gold awards in almost 100 categories. Over 3000 entries were received from 676 higher education institutions.
Chris Smith, Director of the Development and Alumni Relations Office, said: “I am absolutely delighted that two of our most innovative and ‘game-changing’ projects have been recognised through the global CASE Circle of Excellence Awards. I am particularly thrilled for Laura, Head of Alumni Relations, and Bhavesh Davda, Project Manager of What it Takes series, from the Alumni team that their efforts have been internationally recognised through the Circle of Excellence and that our highly successful collaboration with the Career Development Centre has also been highly commended by an independent panel.
“The ‘What It Takes’ series and the ‘Mentoring’ programme are two of the most high-profile ways in which we are able to bring our alumni back into the life of the institution and these awards will only act as further motivation for the team to continue innovating and delivering life-changing opportunities for our students and alumni.”