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Drama alumni share their specialist knowledge with current students

Many might choose to spend their reunion sharing a small sherry or two but a few graduates from the class of 1976 chose to celebrate the 40th year of their graduation sharing their wisdom and giving something back to the younger generation.

20th September 2016

Drama graduates from the ‘Class of 1976’ generously gave current students the benefit of their rich career experience during a return visit to Hull to mark the 40th anniversary of their graduation.

Members of the group went on from the University to enjoy careers in fields as diverse as acting, journalism, TV, politics, health and business, and in organisations as prestigious as the BBC, RADA and the House of Commons.

Organiser Tom Atkinson, a TV producer and director who graduated with a degree in Drama and English in 1976, said: “It was really important for us to give something back to current students and we wanted to provide the benefit of our experiences.

“We also wanted to help open undergraduates’ eyes to the wide range of careers a drama degree can launch you into."

The alumni delivered bespoke workshops - from business skills seminars to performance masterclasses and one-to-one personalised coaching sessions - designed to help undergraduates in their future careers.

Mr Atkinson added: “Our degree was very practical in nature and we learned not just how to perform – a valuable skill in itself – but all aspects of how to put on a show.

"It was wonderful studying at the University of Hull and it gave all of us a solid grounding for our successful careers.”

The alumni’s gesture did not go unappreciated by the current crop of drama students including Elise Fairbairn, who said: “It’s been great to meet graduates and hear their advice and guidance.

“It’s been great to hear how useful a drama degree is – there is so much you can do with it: TV, communications, leadership!

“It isn’t just an acting degree; it teaches you how to act in the real world – and that’s what this University is great at, teaching you how to act in the real world, not just an educational world.”

Pavel Drábek, Professor of Drama and Theatre Practice, Research and Enterprise Coordinator in the School of Drama, Music and Screen, said it had been great to welcome the alumni back.

“Our University was one of the first in the country to teach drama and as Hull takes centre stage as the next UK City of Culture we are proud to continue to combine our strong tradition with the potential for future,” he added.

“This reunion was a brilliant initiative offering students the opportunity to talk to their ‘schoolmates’ who studied Drama at Hull and went on to have successful careers in a range of professions.”

"It was wonderful studying at the University of Hull and it gave all of us a solid grounding for our successful careers.”   

“It’s been great to hear how useful a drama degree is – there is so much you can do with it: TV, communications, leadership!"