Not even torrential rain and lightning storms were able to dampen our excitement at welcoming our alumni volunteers back onto campus for the first time in three years! The Alumni Volunteer Gala Dinner hosted 140 alumni and guests as we celebrated their continued commitment to the Christ Church alumni and student community.
In honour of our Diamond Jubilee year, the theme for the evening was sparkles, and our guests rose to the occasion with glamour, glitter and style!
The main highlight of the event was the crowning of our Alumni Volunteer of the Year award. This years’ worthy recipient was Ian Blackmore BA (Hons) History 1997.
“What a huge honour to win the Canterbury Christ Church University Alumni Volunteer of the Year Award. Thanks to everyone who voted for me and the judging panel who chose me as the winner. It was great to win it in a room full of so many of my former Students’ Union Sabbatical Officers and so many other alumni volunteers. Very humbling and lovely to have 25 years of voluntary service to the university and SU recognised.
“When I joined Canterbury Christ Church College of Higher Education as it was in 1994, or C4 to the sports teams as it remains to this day, what stood out was this idea of us being one big family. As the institution has grown and evolved it has still maintained that family feel, especially around sport and the SU. We realised that we were not the biggest and didn’t have the facilities of some of our competitors, but we were united and we would work together to make great things happen. This attitude was one adopted by my SU Sabbatical team in 1997/98 where we tried to say yes to everything our fellow students wanted to do – and worked out how to make that happen afterwards!
“It is this thrill of working with young people to make their dreams and aspirations a reality that has kept me involved to this day, be it in organising the annual Old Boys & Old Girls sports weekend, helping and cheering at Varsity, presenting awards at the Sports Federations Dinner, organising SU reunions or in mentoring the new sabbaticals each year.
There truly isn’t much that could stop us if we all, students, staff and alumni of C4, move forward together. Here’s to the next 25 years – C4 ’til I die!”
Ian graduated from Christ Church in 1997 and runs his own successful specialist events management business. He is a tireless supporter of Christ Church and continues to offer his time, advice and support to both the University and Christ Church Students’ Union (CCSU), where he was Captain and President of Men’s Rugby and Sabbatical Officer – Vice President. His knowledge on event organisation has been an incredible support as we planned out our big scale Diamond Jubilee events. Plus Ian has continued to support and mentor individual Sabbatical Officers and Leadership Teams with advice and guidance, as well as co-leading the ‘Friends of CCSU’ Sabbatical Officer Alumni Group.
“We were extremely impressed by Ian’s enthusiasm, commitment and loyal support of the University over many years and his can-do attitude to making a difference to student life. His expert advice has been hugely appreciated and ensured the success of many of our activities. We were delighted to honour him with this award and look forward to continuing to work with him in the future,” Sophie Chadwick, Director of Graduate Futures.
To find out more about how you can get involved in alumni activities and our volunteering opportunities supporting students, please get in touch and you could be joining us this time next year at our Gala dinner!