Development and Alumni Relations Office

Alumni Advisory Board

The Alumni Advisory Board was established in 2006 to provide an effective interface between the University and its alumni. The remit of the Board which is chaired by Ray Footman (1961, History and Philosophy), is to advise on planned alumni activities.

Alumni Members:

Robert Burns

I went up to what was then the University College of North Wales, (UCNW) in 1961, and graduated in Biochemistry and Soil Science, 1965, followed by a M.Sc. in Marine Chemistry in 1967.

I played (clarinet) in the college orchestra, and sang with the college male voice choir and the Penrhyn Male Voice Choir. I participated in the “With Heart and Voice” series, recorded in Bangor and broadcast on the BBC Light Programme.

I was treasurer of the Christian Union and particularly involved with the churches of St James’s and Penrallt.

After short research assistantships at the University of East Anglia and Imperial College, I settled at the Laboratory of the Government Chemist in London, whence I retired in 2003. I specialized in Textile Technology and served on various British Standards Institution and International Standards Organisation committees. For many years I was the UK national delegate to the European Commission Textile Names and Labeling Working Group, which I still attend as an invited expert.

As well as personal contact with alumni from UCNW, Normal and St Mary’s Colleges, I have been secretary of the former London Society and Old Bangorians, now the London Bangorians, since 1992.

I served the Bangor University Foundation from inception to demise, and since 2006 have been a member of the Bangor Alumni Advisory Board.

Ray Footman

Ray grew up in the North of England and was at Bangor 1958/62; he was active in Dram Soc and Debates, served as SRC President and took a History & Philosophy BA and Dip Ed. While in Bangor, he met and married his wife, Els.

After working in London in the 1960s/70s, he latterly on PR for the UK universities, the family then moved to Edinburgh, where Ray headed up communications & external relations at the University before he retired in 2002.

A former Commonwealth Universities’ Travelling Fellow, Ray was closely involved, in the 1980s/90s, in development of ‘advancement’ (communications, alumni relations and fundraising) in higher education. He served successively as Chair of the UK University Information Officers, as a founding member and Chair of the European Universities' Information/PR Association and, latterly, as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Council for the Advancement & Support of Education (Europe). He was also a Trustee for the Washington DC-based CASE International and received the Council’s Ashmore Award for services to the advancement profession. 

Ray is keen to help the further advance of alumni relations at Bangor, which he and Els remember with much affection. They have one son, Niels, who works as a journalist in Korea.

Margaret Hewitt

Margaret came from Cheshire and graduated in 1964 with a pass degree in English and History. She remained at Bangor for a further year to do the Teaching Diploma (now PGCE) and she began her teaching career at Dr. Williams’ School, Dolgellau, followed by secondary modern and comprehensive schools for thirty two years in total.

After early retirement in 1997, Margaret obtained a diploma in teaching English as a foreign language, and is still using this to give tuition to people of various nationalities in her adopted home town of Burton on Trent., as well as doing supply teaching in a number of Staffordshire comprehensive schools.

Margaret became involved in alumni affairs in 1998 when organising a reunion of contemporaries, following this with a bigger one in 2004. She has been particularly concerned to trace and contact former students of the 1960s who attended U.C.N.W, Coleg Normal and St. Mary’s College, with a view to future events.

Bill Hilton

Originally from Boston, Lincolnshire, Bill graduated from Bangor University in 1996 with a First in English. Following a PGCE  at St. Martins, Lancaster, he then spent a number of years teaching English in secondary schools.

Bill started his own business in 2004, and returned to Bangor to study for a part-time MA in 2007. Bill is a freelance copywriter and has worked with major brands (including Which?, Barclays, The Daily Telegraph, Channel 4) and more than 200 small businesses, both here and in the US. As well as copywriting for websites, brochures and ads, Bill also provides a range of other communications services, including help with corporate tone of voice, PR, speechwriting, presentation design, brand development, feature writing and media planning.

During 2008 Bill edited Business Matters, the UK's largest magazine for SMEs, and remains an Associate Editor. His first book, Working for Yourself (with Mike Pywell) was published in September 2007. A second book - How To Really Play The Piano - came out in November 2009. Bill also does consultancy work on areas such as Corporate tone of voice, Social media and Strategic marketing and campaign development.

Annis Milner

I was born and brought up in Pontiets in the Gwendraeth Valley, Carmarthenshire. After the local Primary School I attended Llanelli Girls’ Grammar School. In 1957 I came to St Mary’s College, Bangor and Joined Bangor University College Mountaineering Club where I met my husband Cedric who was a student in the University.

On leaving St Mary’s College, I taught in Caernarfon until I was married, moved to live in Gloucester and taught in the Forest of Dean.

We returned to Bangor when my husband was appointed to a post at the Nature Conservancy in Bangor and I went to teach in Ysgol Brynrefail until we started a family. I returned to teaching, this time to Loreto College Llandudno until 1968 when my husband was seconded to the University of Saskatoon in Canada.

We returned to the UK to Edinburgh in 1971 and by now we had two sons. The Nature Conservancy was reorganised in the UK and as a result we were moved to Grange-o-Sands in the Lake District until 1976 when we returned to Bangor. All these moves were as a consequence of my husband’s work. I returned to teaching for a while as well as working for The National Trust and in the Education Offices in Caernarfon. In 1991 I went to the University in Bangor to do an MSc in Rural Resource Management before returning to teaching until retiring.

Ella Owens

Originally from Eifionydd and a former pupil of Porthmadog Grammar School, she attended Y Coleg Normal between 1954 and 1956. She taught for a period at Ysgol Bod Alaw, a Welsh medium school in Colwyn Bay, before joining Urdd Gobaith Cymru as an Organiser for Denbighshire and Flintshire between 1959 and 1962. She returned to teaching from 1962 and 1964 before leaving to bring up a family of three children.

She returned to the classroom in 1975, first to Llannerchymedd and then to Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, where she was Head of the Junior Section. She then moved to Ysgol y Borth, where she served as deputy headteacher.

She left Ysgol y Borth to lead the ‘pasg’ team within the University’s School of Education. She directed the work of writing and trialling Welsh materials for the STATS for 11 year old children. Following her retirement she has been Social Secretary of the Bangor Branch of the Old Students’ Association and is now the General Secretary to that body.  

John Perkins

John is originally from south Dorset, but has lived in and around Bangor since coming to the University in 1968 as an undergraduate student in the former department of agriculture. Subsequently he spent a year as the UCNW Students’ Union Manager (sabbatical post) and graduated with a PhD in agricultural marketing in 1976, having been supported by a Sir William Roberts Scholarship.

Lis, his wife who was a student in the Department of Biblical Studies, is from Gwynedd and so they decided to remain in the area. John’s career has been spent in the Academic Registry at Bangor University, with responsibilities inter alia for postgraduate and research student programmes, international student
affairs and research assessment. He won the Gareth Jones Memorial Travelling Scholarship in 2003 to support his exposure visits to the Palestinian Territories of Gaza and the West Bank.

He is the Chair of the Umeed Partnership, a north Wales-based registered charity which provides educational opportunities for vulnerable women and children in Palestine. He is a member of the local council in Menai Bridge (Mayor 2008/09), and a member of the Management Committee of the Anglican Chaplaincy of the University.

Anne Roberts OBE DL

Anne was the First Chair of the Bangor University Foundation which was established in 1999. She was appointed to the Alumni Advisory Board in September 2005.

Anne was a member of the University Council until December 2006 and chaired the Ethics Committee until September 2006.

Over the years she has been a member of and chaired several University committees.

She has been co-opted as a member of the Ethics Committee and continues to be a member of the Development Trust’s Board of Trustees.

The former Chair of Clwyd Health Authority and North Wales Health Authority, she is also a Member of the CAIS Board, President of Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council, and Trustee on the South Denbighshire Crossroads Board.

OBE, DL and Honorary MA of the University of Wales.

Ray Thackeray

Click here for Ray Thackeray's full profile.

Residing in the San Francisco Bay Area, Ray is an Electronics Engineering graduate from 1975 and during his time at Bangor was Rag Manager for one year. He was in the university's Dean Street based Amateur Radio club which led the launching of Bangor Rag Radio in 1972-3, the first stereo FM university pirate station in the UK, which became BRBS, a predecessor to the existing Storm 87.7 FM.

Since moving to the USA, he has been involved in co-founding two successful Silicon Valley internet startups with venture capital investments, and has sold another company he founded in England. He is published internationally in software development and is named on one patent for Software-as-a-Service event management technology. Ray hosts the active Silicon Valley alumni group, which always extends a warm welcome to visitors and Bangor grads.

He took a sabbatical for over a year and sailed a bluewater ketch over 22,000 nautical miles, regularly performs on the stage with a Gilbert and Sullivan troupe and in the annual Dickens Fair in San Francisco and is a volunteer educator with Junior Achievement, a non profit organization that teaches work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy to young people all over the world.

Ray founded the LinkedIn Bangor University Alumni Group in 2008, which has now grown into the most extensive membership and discussion forum for Bangor graduates to provide connections, business and activity networking and other opportunities.

Staff members:

Sheila O’Neal – Director of Development
Bethan Perkins - Alumni Development Officer

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