If you've ever thought of what it takes to organise a hugely successful reunion then you should read Claire Andrew's story below. Claire organised an excellent Class of 1995 reunion during the summer of 2015 and had an outstanding turnout of nearly 70 alumni.
We asked Claire what it was like organising the event and what she got out of the experience.
What are your best memories from your time at Leeds Trinity?
I loved all my time at TASC (Leeds Trinity)! I really enjoyed the time I spent in my first year living in halls and meeting all those new friends - it was all so exciting and new, especially as I was in a different country. It was a great wee community and as it wasn't a huge university at the time you got to know so many people even if they weren't doing the same course as me. I also joined the Hockey Team and there were some great times away at matches and celebrating back at the bar.
The course I chose, French & Media, was a perfect mix of practical and theory - getting the chance to make a TV programme and use all the media equipment then spending a year out in the south of France. All in all I had a very positive experience there and would totally recommend it, in fact I would do it all over again if I could!
What was it like organising the reunion and how did it feel to be back on campus with your 1995 year group?
I had a ball organising the reunion and have to say with social media it made things a lot easier to get in touch and find people! It was really bizarre being back on campus again. Some things had totally changed beyond recognition whereas some parts were exactly the same. I loved doing the campus tour and seeing everything again. It was especially fun getting into our old halls and checking out our old rooms! I can't believe I walked up all those stairs constantly.
What did you personally get out of organising the reunion and what inspired you to lead this?
I had spent a weekend in Leeds visiting friends and popped up to the university grounds to check it out and lots of amazing memories came flooding back. Surely it couldn't have been so long ago that we were studying there?! Alas, it was nearly 20 years since we first walked into Leeds Trinity. I couldn't believe it. So, it just felt like the perfect time to get the ball rolling and see if there was an interest in holding a reunion. I just love organising events/parties so this was great fun for me. I kept it simple by holding the whole event on campus. I've also now reconnected with lots of old friends.
What were the biggest changes you witnessed on campus?
The sheer growth of the place and the improvement in the facilities, especially the media/IT equipment - modernisation for you! The new Halls of Residence are very glam compared to when we were there - can't believe there are lifts and they have super kitchen/lounge areas!
How did you feel we supported you with the event?
As soon as I contacted Leeds Trinity about the reunion I received lots of help and enthusiasm for us oldies getting together to relive our university days!! Communication was very easy and any queries that I had were responded to promptly by the Alumni Officer. This was extremely useful as I was arranging the event from Belfast so couldn't just pop in to check things out or discuss the reunion. I felt we had the full support of the university in arranging the reunion and they genuinely seemed delighted to have us back. In particular, I was greatly assisted when it came to locating the lecturers to invite along to the event. On the night it was touching to see a display of old TASC materials/merchandise from our time that had been dug out for the occasion.
What advice would you give to any other alumni thinking of organising a reunion?Go for it. It was so amazing reconnecting with everyone and sharing old photos on Facebook in the run up to the event. Then the reunion itself on campus was such a super trip down memory lane, catching up in the bar, staying in halls and doing a tour of the campus. Everyone was asking me when I was arranging the next one - maybe another 10 years and I'll get onto it again!