La Trobe alumni from the classes of 1967 to 1973 recently journeyed back to where it all began, commemorating nearly 60 years of shared history at the annual Early Years reunion.
Our “Early Years Cohort” came from near and far to join us in reminiscing and reconnecting this November. The event warmly welcomed nearly 150 of the university's first graduates to the Bundoora campus. There, they were treated to a guided tour led by current students, followed by a relaxed gathering on the campus lawn, complete with refreshing drinks and live music. As the sun began to set, the group transitioned to the Glenn College Dining Room for dinner, speeches, and shared stories.
The La Trobe University Archives team also played a pivotal role in helping our alumni step back in time with a slideshow of photos from the years they had studied, which the Vice-Chancellor acknowledged as a highlight of the night.
‘The stories our alumni shared brought these photos to life, and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing each one.’
Reminiscing was a significant part of the evening. Alumni shared stories of their glory days and re-connected with one another after years apart. Among those who lent their voice to the sentiment of the night was Ray Richardson (Class of 1970).
‘It is an opportunity to share tall tales and true from the legendary past, to learn new details about past events and to catch up on what people have been doing with themselves since we graduated - and their lives now.’
Ray underscored the profound meaning of reconnecting with old friends and fellow graduates, especially more than 50 years later.
'We are all maturing rapidly and encountering those health challenges that threaten our life styles, so to be able to reconnect in person with members of our fellow cohort is a most welcome opportunity.'
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Dewar AO also spoke on the night. He highlighted the ongoing impact that the Early Years Cohort have had, and continues to have, on the University.
‘La Trobe’s character owes much to the contributions that each of you made to create our reputation as a university known for making a positive difference in the lives of our students, partners, and communities.’
One of the most significant parts of this speech, however, was the announcement of the Early Years Scholarship Fund, named in honour of the University's first and earliest alumni.
‘La Trobe’s character owes much to the contributions of our earliest alumni – and we’d like the legacy of the early years cohorts to live on in perpetuity.’
These scholarships will break down barriers to aspiring students who may not have otherwise had the chance to attend university. The impact that can be had through scholarships is especially important right now given the cost-of-living pressures students face today, which are even more challenging for young people who already experiencing financial disadvantage.
La Trobe believes so deeply in this mission that it is matching all gifts to this scholarship dollar for dollar to maximise the impact and legacy of the Early Years alumni. You can cement the legacy of our first graduates in perpetuity by giving today.