Virtual Chemistry Reunion Spans Six Decades

Graduates of special anniversary years gather online for our special ‘Connecting Chemistry’ event

Last month, we welcomed graduates from milestone years to our first School of Chemistry virtual alumni event. Seven classes of Chemistry alumni from across six decades were brought together for the special anniversary gathering, the first of its kind at the University of Edinburgh.

Professor Colin Pulham, Head of the School of Chemistry, welcomed Chemistry graduates from the classes of 1961, 1971, 1981, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2011. Alumni joined the event from across several different time zones, including some based as far away as Seoul, North Carolina and Ontario.

The group enjoyed a talk from Dr Chris Mowat, Director of Teaching, on how the School of Chemistry has changed in recent years, including new subjects of study, spaces, and ways of assessing students. Chris also described how teams at the School are working to address global issues through ground-breaking research and innovative collaborations with industry. Following this, alumni were taken on a nostalgic journey through the decades in class photos, showcasing changing styles and familiar faces from over the years.

Class breakout rooms then gave attendees the chance to reconnect and hear about what former classmates had been doing over the years. Memories were shared of much-loved lecturers, gruelling examinations and long hours spent in labs. Some had more catching up to do than others, and a few attendees spoke to old friends for the first time since graduating 60 years ago!

The group came back together for a fun School of Chemistry-themed quiz, during which alumni were quizzed on their knowledge of School history, fellow alumni, research news and the City of Edinburgh. A member of the 20th anniversary group, the Class of 2001, achieved the top spot, with close contenders from other groups.

Professor Colin Pulham closed the event with a toast to the School and our global community of alumni.

Virtual celebration photo socials

Particularly enjoyed the update on the School of Chemistry and seeing old faces (recognition came with time!)


The event was a fantastic opportunity for us to meet and get to know so many lovely chemistry graduates from over the years. With many alumni groups unable to come together to celebrate in person this year due to restrictions on travel and gatherings, we were delighted to reunite old friends online and bring something of the School of Chemistry to them on their shared milestone year.


It was fantastic to be able to bring together our amazing alumni from so many different years and to rekindle that affection for the School of Chemistry. It is always fascinating to hear about the lives and diverse careers of our alumni.