No. 6: University of Wales Guild of Graduates

The Guild of Graduates 

When I graduated back in 1959 I automatically became a member of the University of Wales Guild of Graduates.   It was an active body.   We received regular communication from the Warden and Clerk and there were regular meetings for specialist sections and I seem to remember regular meetings at the National Eisteddfod.  There was also an AGM.    

At that time the Guild held annual elections to elect representatives to become members of the University Court, which no longer exists.  In 1970 my name was put forward for these elections but I was well beaten by far more prominent candidates.    The last communication from the Guild that I have is an invitation to attend the 2006 AGM on 2 September 2006 but unfortunately I didn’t attend.   I understand that the Guild was abolished in 2007 but I have no correspondence on this.   Perhaps I’ve lost this correspondence, but there was certainly nothing on the 2006 AGM Agenda to suggest that the Guild was about to be abolished during 2007.   

As the Guild was a separate entity, I asked what the value of the Guild’s assets was when it was decided to bring the Guild to an end.   I also asked what had happened to these assets.

I was told that the balance at 31 July 2007 was £74,643.07 which included investments, short-term loans and ready cash.   None of the assets have been transferred to any other fund and, over the past 5 years, have been used to support the activities of the Guild/Former Students.  The balance at 31 July 2012 was £77,951.44.  

I was delighted to learn that the fund was still in existence and that its value had increased.   Clearly there must have been some sensible investments made.   However, there are a number of questions. 

The questions that arise

1.         Activities of the Guild since 2007

If the Guild had been brought to an end in 2007, how was it possible for activities to continue under the name of the Guild?  How is it possible to carry out activities under the name of an organisation that no longer exists?   I would like to hear of a logical explanation. 

2.         Cymdeithas Cyn-fyfyrwyr Prifysgol Cymru / Association of former students of the University of Wales now called in English the “University of Wales Alumni Association”

In recent years I’ve seen reference, in Welsh, to an Association of Former Students of the University of Wales.   I was a student at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth and I’m a life member of the “Old Students Association” of the College and by now I certainly qualify for the description “old”!   I enjoy attending the annual reunions at the National Eisteddfod which I attend most years. 

I’m a graduate of the University of Wales but I’ve never been a student at the University of Wales.  Therefore, logically, I cannot join an Association of former students of the University of Wales.   I’m not qualified to join but neither is anyone else.  There is no such person in the world as a former student of the University of Wales! 

3.         Why dissolve the Guild if it was still considered desirable to have an association of “former students”?

If it was considered desirable to bring the Guild to an end, why was it decided to continue an association with similar objectives but under a new misleading name?  If they didn’t like the name Guild, why not use the name “Association of UoW Graduates” or “UoW Graduates Association” or similar? 

When the University decided to establish the Association of Former Students, why didn’t the University contact all the members of the Guild of Graduates, inform them of the change and ask if they wished to join the new Association?    They had all our addresses.    I agree that these days one would want to obtain email details in order to establish electronic contact.   Had they asked we could all have supplied the information, if one had wished to continue the association.  

4.         Who are the officers of this Association of “Former Students” and who controls the funds of our former Guild?

The Guild of Graduates used to have annual elections to elect officers and committee.   Does anyone know who the officers of this new Association are?     Does anyone remember any elections?   Who now controls the funds of our former Guild?

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One Response to No. 6: University of Wales Guild of Graduates

  1. Kenneth John Jehu Milton says:

    An interesting entry and some pertinent questions to which, I note, you have received no answers! I graduated B.A. from UCW, Aberystwyth, in 1960 and M.A. from University of Wales in 1980 (as an external student). I was also a member of the mysterious Guild of Graduates, from whom I remember receiving communications in the distant past. I will be interested to hear of any response to your enquiries.

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