Get Together > Graduations > Class of 2016 Winter > Honoraries and Alumni Achiever > Grammie Fraser Alumni Achiever of the Year 2016

Alumni Achiever of the Year 2016 – Graham Fraser

Grammie Fraser

Graham Fraser, or Grammie as he is affectionately known, completed his Certificate in Education from the Sunderland College of Education in 1969. After graduating, he proved himself to be a talented educator, finding work as a classroom teacher before elevating to the role of head teacher at two primary schools in Sunderland. 

During his time at Langham Tower he founded the Sunderland College of Education Entertainments Committee, organising a wide variety of events including dances, discos and stage shows. After completing his Certificate, he put his skills to good use, becoming the organiser of College reunions, a role he has filled ever since.   

For almost five decades, Graham has dedicated large portions of his life to ensuring that his colleagues never lost sight of the institution they met and studied at. 

In recognition to his long standing dedication and loyalty to the Sunderland College of Education Entertainments Committee, Grammie has been named the University of Sunderland Alumni Achiever of the Year. He received the Award at the Winter Academic Awards (December 1-2).

The prestigious annual award is handed out to a graduate who has excelled in their area of expertise, as nominated by alumni and staff members. 

One of those who nominated Grammie was Trevor Harvey, a retired head teacher who has attended and assisted at many of the reunions he has organised. 

He said: “As someone who worked on the Entertainment’s Committee in 1968-69 and who has helped in a very small way with recent reunions I have been able to see first-hand Grammie’s hard work and enthusiasm and his desire to maintain links and friendships that were forged in our formative years. 

“His effusive personality made him a popular figure at college and that continues today being reflected in the willingness of people to travel long distances to attend the events he has organised.

“His love of all things Sunderland College of Education is unquestionable, his endeavours unbelievable and his contribution to Sunderland Alumni undeniable.” 

Despite remaining in Sunderland, Grammie continued to harbour and maintain close ties with his former colleagues from the College, even though some had now moved to far reaching locations such as the United States, Australia and Trinidad. 

It was his tireless work and determination that ensured that 120 past students and lecturers reunited for the first time in 1987 for their 21st anniversary. 

Twenty nine years and eight reunions the later, the group met again this year to mark 50 years since their graduation. Although Grammie had finally decided to retire from the role of organiser, the impact he had made on his fellow students and the University would always be remembered. 

He was also nominated by the Alumni Association’s Sarah Hunt, who he has worked alongside when organising the reunions. 

She added: “I believe Grammie is deserving of this award due to his long standing dedication and loyalty to the Sunderland College of Education Entertainments Committee.  

“His regular communications keep over 100 alumni in touch with each other and this number is also reflected at the reunions.  These reunions have been time consuming and usually involve a residential weekend in Sunderland and consist of bus trips to old buildings, music night and the main event, the reunion dinner, usually with a cost to himself. 

“Graham never asks for the recognition he deserves. Him winning this award is the ideal way to end nearly thirty years of reunions.”

Article written by Matthew Shevlin, University of Sunderland Journalism graduate.

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