The Gala Evening - to which alumni, staff, benefactors and corporate supporters were welcomed - also saw the annual Alumni Awards presented. The Gala Evening was part of the wider Alumni Big Weekend 2018 programme held in South Wales and various countries overseas.
With the Awards now in their third year, our 2018 event saw guests invited from across business, third sector, public sector, sport, healthcare and assorted entrepreneurial backgrounds. All gathered to celebrate the achievements of our Alumni Award category finalists and to also acknowledge the support given by community volunteers and donors. Particular thanks was extended to Kier Construction who kindly sponsored the Emerging Entrepreneur Award for the second year.
Absolute privilege to be invited to University of South Wales Alumni Awards [that are] clearly demonstrating the effect individuals from the University go on to demonstrate ... exceptional leadership across a wide arena sharing their knowledge and providing support. Tina Donnelly CBE, Director Royal College of Nursing Wales via Twitter
This year's Awards attracted over 70 nominations across the seven categories available, with quality submissions highlighting alumni excellence and activity, not only in the UK, but as far afield as the USA and Canada. Nominations represented graduate talent from USW as well as predecessor institutions, the University of Wales, Newport and University of Glamorgan.
The evening also hosted the Big Weekend Prize Draw with £725 being raised in support of the Student Experience Fund. Thanks to our prize givers, Hilton Cardiff, Principality Stadium, The National Botanic Garden of Wales, Chepstow Races and Newport Dragons.
It’s an honour & privilege to be present tonight. Osian Roberts, Assistant Manager of Wales' National Football Team
Inspiring the Next Generation - Recognising a graduate who has volunteered their support to the University of South Wales, providing inspiration to current and prospective students.
Category winner: Sophie Simmonds (BSc (Hons) Medical Sciences, 2017) - Medical student, Cardiff University
Excellence in Service - Recognising a current student or graduate who has shown outstanding commitment to enhancing the connectivity of the alumni and/or student community, and supporting its activities.
Category winner: Brian Jones (HND Business Studies, 1970)
GOLD (Graduate of the Last Decade) - To celebrate a young alumnus/a who has graduated within the last 10 years and who has demonstrated exceptional achievement and leadership potential in their chosen profession.
Category winner: Dan Da Rocha (BA (Hons) Computer Games Design, 2010) - Games Designer and Producer
Distinguished Alumni - Awarded to a former student to acknowledge their achievements and success, be this through personal accomplishment, professional achievement, or humanitarian service.
Category winner: Moawia Bin-Sufyan BCA (PG Cert in Management and Professional Practice, 2011) - Community Champion and Volunteer
Contribution to Welsh Life and Culture - Awarded to a current student or graduate in, or from Wales, who has contributed to Welsh life, language and culture..
Category winner: Leanne Wood AM (BA (Hons) Public Administration, 1994) - Leader, Plaid Cymru
Emerging Entrepreneur - To recognise an individual or team of student, or graduate, entrepreneurs who are on the road to achieving success through a business or social enterprise. To have been operating for less than four years..
Category winner: Gary Kings (BA(Hons) Computer Games Design, 2015) - National Insecurities
Accomplished Entrepreneur - To recognise and celebrates alumni - either an individual or a collective - who are creating successful entrepreneurial value and whose activities are making a mark in their respective industry.
Category winner: Michael Parfitt (BSc (Hons) Multimedia Computing, 2002) - Team Metalogic