Reunions

The Henley Alumni Office is happy to help you organise a reunion for your class, syndicate or intake. Please don't hesitate to contact us on alumni@henley.ac.uk with your ideas and details. Alternatively, just give us a call on +44 (0)1491 418 843 and we'll do our best to help.

25th Anniversary Reunion of MP14

Alumni_MP14When the proposal went out that our MP14 group should meet up again after 25 years it was both exciting and slightly daunting. It would be fantastic to get together again with the energetic and fun people who shared such great times at HBS. But, would we still connect as we had all those years ago? Would we even recognize one another after all this time?

The first challenge was to track down the 45 individuals from 17 countries. Oliver Cobb from the Henley Alumni team trawled through the archives and Linkedin. Elling Enger added Facebook, Skype and his CIA contacts to the search. All, but four, of our original group were contacted and the date set - Friday the 29th June - which happily coincided with Henley Regatta week.

The commitment was amazing - Harry Boersma flew in from Brazil, Tom Brown from Hong Kong, Adit Jain from India and Tony Medina represented Spain. Martin Testa from Malta rearranged his hectic schedule so he could be with us instead of in South America and Joe Sealy postponed his trip to Mumbai. Despite having to fly out again at 5 a.m. the following morning Griselda Gordon flew in from Scotland. Six of our Norwegians friends joined the UK contingent and in all 23 MP14ers and their guests met again at Greenlands on the appointed date.

To begin the celebrations Gareth Hamer organised a visit to the Windsor & Eton Brewery, where entrepreneur Will Colvert talked us through the highs and lows of running a specialist brewing business in a competitive market. We were happy to engage in some product testing and declared the "Garter" golden ale a winner.

As we gathered for welcome drinks in the Chiltern Bar at Greenlands it was clear that the same spirit of friendship and generosity that had worked its magic in the MP14 group a quarter of a century ago still existed. The buzz of excitement as friends re-connected was mixed with the usual exclamations of "You haven't changed a bit!"

The flow of wine and a delicious meal in the Heyworth Restaurant helped jog memories of some less academic pursuits during our stay at Henley. We recalled that George Bailey's boat was often the preferred mode of transport to Henley for a night out. Elling Enger remembered swimming across the Thames in the early hours of the morning when he found himself on the wrong bank. We were reminded that David Cole's driving skills had been called into question during our US study tour.

Sharing career and life experiences inevitably let to the question "What did the MBA do for you?" For some - it helped them climb the corporate career ladder right to the top. Others chose not to re-enter the corporate world and were successful in consultancy or setting up their own business. Everyone considered the MBA a valuable investment and a worthwhile experience.

Saturday - Henley Members' Day.

Breakfast together on Saturday morning began the inevitable round farewells as some people had to leave for their long flights home.

Many of us stayed and enjoyed the wonderful hospitality of Henley Members' Day. After a tentative start the sun came out, so that Kari Dale's hat could add glamour to the occasion. The spit roast lunch and inevitable strawberries and cream somehow got in the way of our finishing the Quiz.

Thanks to Christopher Bullmore, Irina Woodford and Oliver Cobb of the Alumni Services team for their help in planning our reunion and to Dereck St. Clair and Paula Francis and all the team in Hotel Services for your great hospitality.

Finally thanks to Paul Delo for organizing our farewell champagne - it encouraged a flurry of planning for our next get-together. Tentative plans began to emerge and Harry Boersma's beach resort in Brazil is hot favourite.

Photo album of this reunion.

 

20 year reunion - 'Challenge & Support' sessions

Alumni-20-year-reunionWritten by Mark Callen

We were delighted to be able to hold our recent 20th anniversary meeting at the college and feel privileged to be considered 'alumni'.

Dave Mowbray, Mike Hopson, Adrian Neale and I met on the 'Developing Managerial Effectiveness' course at Henley in November 1991. I think we can safely say that this was a life changing experience. I can still remember the paradoxical feelings of elation and calmness which I had on leaving Henley on completion of the Course and I have tried to remember that feeling ever since. I often ask myself a question of 'why do I feel?' which is something I learned at Henley, which helps me to remember 'that feeling' when I am feeling under pressure.

After the Course, 6 or 7 of us agreed to meet regularly for a 'Challenge & Support' session which has now dwindled to 4 but the format became so well defined that we were able to easily add Gina Gardiner to it years later. The 5 of us have been meeting every 3-4 months for many years.

I believe Dave put it very succinctly when he said that "the value (of the C&S Sessions) for me is the opportunity to talk to others I trust who have had different experiences in life and therefore have a different take on a problem situation. Our discussions always spark new ideas and new thinking."

This has been the crux of the success of our 'team' and of the meetings. Initially all the issues brought to the sessions were job related but increasingly we have had the confidence to bring personal issues and to trust the environment to articulate problems that we have not been able to discuss with anyone else in such an objective environment.

We are all 20 years older, jobs have changed, partners have passed away, we have had serious illnesses and disabilities , children have grown up, 2 of us have retired but there is still something positive to be gained from our meetings.

Thank you for again for your hospitality and we look forward to visiting Henley again in future years.

MP35 Reunion - Ten Years On

MP35 groupOne sunny early summer evening in May, 19 of the class of MP35 arranged to meet to celebrate 10 years since it all began for us at Henley in 2001. Having managed to tracked down most of our year of about 35, through a combination of old emails, word of mouth, individual connections on LinkedIn and the Henley LinkedIn Group page, a date was fixed. Interestingly, there was a significant percentage of our year now living or working abroad which limited the numbers, hopefully showing the international value of the MBA that had been obtained.

A venue was selected in central London, intended to be a more appropriate location than the equivalent of Latinos, and all congregated there that Friday night. Whilst it was suitably central, the (unanticipated) dancing girls and loud music showed that the years had passed since 2001 and this initially took some getting used to...
for most anyway!

As to be expected, there were a few last minute drop-outs and flying visits but also a couple of surprise turn-ups with a good show overall. Naturally, there was no difficulty recognising anyone as we all agreed that none of us had aged/changed a bit! Over a combination of happy hour beer, more expensive bottles of bubbles later and an increasing immunity to the loud music, we caught up on the twists and turns of life, careers and other gossip, warping back 10 years with relative ease. Some had changed direction, others had progressed and all re-lived with laughter some of the experiences of that time. Individual news/recollections has been withheld to protect the innocent!

Restraint was eventually shown when the bar ran out of the right kind of bubbles sometime after 11pm, with the hard-core sloping back off into the night promising further catch-ups in the near future and anticipating some sore heads in the morning.

It was great to see everyone again. Thanks to Louise Winch for helping to arrange the evening and snapping some unprintable photos. Thanks also to Kate Fisher, in the alumni team, for helping try to contact as many people as possible and with the coordination of this reunion - her services are to be recommended.

Only a couple of years or so now before it will be 10 years since the final exam and graduation...

Ben Bennett, MP35 alumnus

If you would like Alumni Services to help you trace fellow alumni or help organise a reunion please contact the team at alumni@henley.com

 

Another Successful Reunion - can we arrange one for you?

Chris Bullmore, Paul Glicker, David Welsh, John Cotton, John Huggon, Barry Gibbons, and Peter HallThe members of MP1 have been meeting regularly since they left Henley in the mid '70's, but with numbers declining they were keen to try and contact all the remaining course members. Paul Glicker, in particular, had not been seen for almost 30 years, and David Welsh contacted HBS to see if we could help track him down. This we did successfully and so it was that Paul met up with five fellow course members for lunch at Joe Allen's in London on January 26 th 2011. They generously invited me to join them, and I had a great time listening to the pioneers of a course that Henley must have had doubts would continue, for on one occasion no rooms were booked for the course so it had to be transferred to the old Imperial Hotel, and on another the members and faculty were sent to Amsterdam for two weeks as a cheaper alternative! Their dedication to improving the tourist industry in Bulgaria rather than investigating its tractor factories was also admirable.

We look forward to welcoming them back to Greenlands, hopefully this summer, and to London & SE Alumni Group events.

If you would like Alumni Services to help you trace fellow alumni or help organise a reunion please contact the team at alumni@henley.com  

25th Anniversary Reunion at Members' Day

On the 15th May 1983, 46 individuals from 17 countries passed through the portals of Greenlands to commence a 2-year full-time MBA Course.

These were the MP10ers, who came under the guidance of Dr. David Birchall, who became a dear friend to all of us. They came from all walks of life, with the sole objective of changing their lives and participating in the "Henley Experience".

25 years later, 11 of them managed to turn up for their anniversary and only Gary was late. Even Professor David Birchall emerged from his room 101 to help us celebrate. 
Fortunately, personalities and behaviour seemed unchanged: Trevor delegated; James came up with ludicrous engineering plans; Laurie was so laid-back he could have been asleep; Hilary organised us with her typical light touch. At least John and Alan had made drastic career changes to avoid being lynched as bankers.

But actually as a group we were effective, we managed to pose for a team photo without too much bickering and David Birchall was able to witness his handiwork. The day brought back some wonderful and very fond memories. Everyone seems to have aged gracefully with the exception of Trevor and Gary who both appeared younger. Peter sought to counsel anyone who appeared to be headed off the rails. Hilary reminded us of some usually unrepeatable episodes including one incident involving a group of middle managers from one of the UK's leading utilities and another occasion in which the Principal's Alsatian dog played a leading part. All that was missing was the other 30-odd members of the programme.


photo HBS course reunion MP10From the left: Back row: Gary Whiteside (missing), Trevor Gordon-Pullar, Erik Wilberg, Per Vorum, James Campbell. Front row: Fiona Bateson, Peter Spelman, John Marshall, Alan Hughes, Hilary Northcroft, Professor David Birchall, Laurie Cowell.

 

 

   

General Management Course (GMC) 93 reunion

It will be 32 years ago in January 2010 that Syndicate B of GMC 93 (January - March 1978) first met under the tutelage of Peter Bowen.

We are now pretty well all retired. Mike Blackburn stopped running the Halifax some years ago but has had his fingers in various financial ventures, particularly in helping DFS sell cardboard sofas to the nation. Courtney Finn - aka "The Last King of Scotland" - has ended a predictably colourful career which has taken him through various industries to finish as a consultant. George Hurley quit the Baltic Exchange some time ago and now divides his time between homes in France and Cornwall. Rod Danes, the baby among us - even now not much over 60 - retired early from the water industry and now has a jolly good life playing tennis and golf and helping run the county LTA. Peter Goodchild quit the BBC in 1990 as head of drama, worked for 10 years as an independent producer and, since he moved down to Devon, has reinvented himself as something of a writer and playwright. Dennis Jessop continued working for Hoover's and picked up an MBE for steering the company through its difficult times in the 80's. He's followed that with years as chairman of his local NHS Trust. And finally, Bob Morris has retired from making atomic bombs and now does voluntary work for his professional body, the Royal Society of Chemistry.

This hardy core of seven of the original 11 in the syndicate have held a reunion pretty regularly every two years or so. In 2007, we took the chef's table at Gordon Ramsay's restaurant at Claridges, where his minions allowed us to play at chefs, plating up a course or two. This April we convened at Sheakeys. The pleasure derived from these reunions remains undiminished - long may our meetings continue!

hbs course reunion - GMC93Members of GMC93 (1978) at Sheekey's for their most recent reunion lunch.; George Hurley, Rod Danes, Mike Blackburn, Peter Goodchild, Bob Morris.

 

 

 

    

HBS course reunion - GMC93The members of Syndicate B, GMC 93 in Gordon Ramsay's kitchens at Claridges.From left to right -Bob Morris, George Hurley, Courtney Finn, Peter Goodchild, Rod Danes, Dennis Jessup.