Alumni – Annual Review 2016/17

Whilst their time at the University of Derby may have come to an end, our alumni will always be part of the Derby community and we continue to support them in the years following their graduation.

Many have gone on to achieve great things; forging exciting and challenging careers in a range of professions across the globe, and many come back to Derby to continue their professional development or give back in some way; for example by supporting our current students through mentoring, offering internships and full time employment opportunities.

Whatever path they choose we are proud of all of our alumni and we are delighted to share some highlights from the past year with you.

Alumni highlights

If you visited the city between June 9 and July 23 then you may have seen ‘Poppies: Weeping Window’, the stunning display of thousands of red ceramic poppies cascading down from the historic Silk Mill. These were from the installation ‘Blood Swept Lands and Sea of Red’, a display of 888,246 poppies at the Tower of London in 2014, created by artist, and Derby alumnus, Paul Cummins CBE (BA Craft, 2010), and designer Tom Piper, as a national commemoration of the First World War.

In June this year Jennifer Birch and Jade Foster (both BA Fine Art, 2017) established Divine Locale, Derby’s only graduate-led art festival, to showcase and highlight the work of local and national emerging contemporary artists. The inaugural festival took place in August and included work from a range of disciplines including live performance, installation, photography, print, digital, media, sculpture and painting.

Tae Kwon Do expert Charlie Foster Phillips (BSc Martial Arts Theory and Practice with Sports Massage and Exercise Therapies, 2012) joined the University’s Further Education wing, Buxton and Leek College, in December 2016 as a full time study coach. Charlie was rated the best female in the UK’s latest Tae Kwon Do black belt rankings. She believes the sport’s five principles – courtesy, integrity, self-control, perseverance and an indomitable spirit – will help as she works with students who are struggling with their academic work.


Our newly established Development and Alumni Relations team will develop and strengthen relationships with our network of friends, advisers and supporters who have a shared ambition in the long-term wellbeing and success of the university.

Our vision can only be fully realised with the financial support, involvement and advocacy of our closest supporters. Philanthropic support enables us to build on our strengths, enhance student experience, extend research programmes and create the best possible environments within which people can excel.

If you’re interested in talking to us about how you can be involved please get in touch with us at

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