Bond University has drawn a close to its annual Homecoming in which it won a national rugby title and beat the fundraising target for its first Giving Day.
The week began on a high with the Bull Sharks winning the Aon Women’s Uni7s rugby competition on home turf.
Bond beat Griffith University 29-7 to claim their first national title, to raucous applause from the Fabian Fay Clubhouse.
Many Homecoming events were conducted virtually this year in recognition of Australian border closures and differing levels of pandemic lockdown around the world.
The University has graduates in more than 100 countries and traditionally many overseas alumni make the pilgrimage back to campus to reconnect with old friends.
However the Alumni Awards Dinner was one of the events that did go ahead in person, with Seven Group Holdings Chief Financial Officer Richard Richards (Class of 1989) receiving the top prize, the Robert Stable Medal.
Mr Richards was a member of the University’s first cohort, the ‘892s’ who began their studies in semester two of 1989.
Paralympian and disability and domestic violence campaigner Karni Liddell (Class of 2001) took the Community Achievement Award, while the Young Alumni Award was presented to Haydn Dodds (Class of 2018), a doctor working with patients from remote communities in the Northern Territory.
The University’s first annual Giving Day had a target of $100,000 but raised almost $115,000 thanks to the generosity of alumni and supporters.
The event was broadcast live online and hosted by Bond alumnus Nicholas O’Hara-Boyd (Class of 2009).
Bond University Vice Chancellor of Engagement Catherine Marks said the funds would go towards multiple areas of need including the Student Hardship Fund, Student Opportunity Fund and Scholarship Fund.
“We are so proud of the generosity shown by the Bond community at our very first Giving Day,” Ms Marks said.
“We hope to build this event into a staple of the Homecoming calendar, allowing Bondies here in Australia and those abroad to help foster the success of the next generation of Bond students.”
Noosa Mayor and alumna Clare Stewart (Class of 1998) headlined the Bond Business Leaders’ Forum, detailing her recovery from being run over by a garbage truck to forging a successful law career and winning the mayoralty in her first tilt at politics.
Other Homecoming events included the launch of the Medicine Alumni Committee, the Alumni Leaders’ Forum and a series of streamed public lectures.
The weekend wrapped up with more successes on the sports fields.
The Bull Sharks’ QAFLW side is still unbeaten after 11 games. The University beat Wests 33-27 in the men’s Queensland Premier Rugby competition, and in the women’s competition they defeated Wests 63-5. The Bull Sharks’ Sapphire Series netball team beat the Tigers 42-37.
Bond University Head of Alumni Relations Nicole Walker (Class of 2001) was grateful to have been able to deliver Homecoming 2021 following the cancellation of the 2020 event due to the pandemic.
“The buzz in the room at the Alumni Awards Dinner is always a highlight but after the break last year it was heart-warming to see alumni connecting with each other and the faculty, sometimes for the first time in years.”
Ms Walker said she hoped to build on the success of the first Giving Day.
“As our Chair of the Alumni Advisory Board Jennifer Cronin (Class of 1989) said, we are fortunate to have received a first-class education from Bond. Be grateful for it and gift it forward wherever you can.”