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Bond parties like it's 1989

Bond University Chancellor Annabelle Bennett and Vice Chancellor and President Professor Tim Brailsford at the ball.

Homecoming 2024  has wrapped up with a gala ball and a permanent tribute to Bond University's first cohort of 322 students.

The ball at The Star Gold Coast was one of the last opportunities for alumni and staff to farewell outgoing Chancellor the Honourable Dr Annabelle Bennett AC SC who is stepping down after serving the maximum term under the university’s constitution. A new Chancellor is expected to be announced in the coming days.

Alumni from around Australia and the world returned to the Gold Coast for the ball, decorated in Bond blue and replete with Bentleys bearing the numberplates BOND 892 in reference to the first graduating class. 

Meanwhile that legendary cohort - the first students to enrol 35 years ago in May 1989 – have been immortalised on plaques featuring all 322 names.

The plaques are set in a garden beside statues of Alan Bond and fellow co-founder Harunori Takahashi. 

The new feature was opened by Dr Bennett and Chair of the Alumni Advisory Board Dr Jennifer Cronin, herself an ‘892’. 

Many of Dr Cronin’s classmates were in attendance, taking part in a moving moment of silence to remember those who had passed away.

Vice Chancellor and President Professor Tim Brailsford saluted the cohort who began their studies at a half-completed campus and amid controversy over the launch of Australia’s first private university. 

Professor Brailsford used the occasion to announce the university would launch an 892 scholarship to enrol students who might not normally be able to attend Bond. 

The official opening of the garden was followed by drinks at Don's Tavern at 1989 prices. 

Giving Day, which coincided with the University’s Foundation Day on May 15, raised $140,617 for scholarships, topping the goal of $135,000.

Alumni Awards winners Xavier Phillips, Derek Cronin and Alexandra Stratigos.

Meanwhile the 2024 Alumni Awards Dinner crowned Derek Cronin (Class of 1989) as the university’s top alumni.

Mr Cronin was presented with the Robert Stable Medal in recognition of his legal career as founder of Cronin Miller Litigation Lawyers and extensive philanthropic pursuits, including service to the university.

The Alumni Award for Community Achievement went to Alexandra Stratigos (Class of 2004), while Xavier Phillips (Class of 2021) collected the Young Alumni Award.

Homecoming also featured a series of public forums, a performance by the Gold Coast Chamber Orchestra and a 25-year Staff Service Lunch.

Staff to hit the milestone this year were Dell McStay, Angela Lacey, Patrick Waddell, Peta Hopkins, Chris Oglethorpe, Amy Kenworthy and Kathy Atkins.

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