UCL Alumni


US-based alumni deepen their UCL connections at events across the country

5 July 2024

UCL headed stateside this spring to host events and socials over four weeks for alumni in cities across the United States.

Alumni at the San Francisco Bay Area event, standing outside Vino Locale bar in Palo Alto

In May and June, nearly 100 alumni attended events in the San Francisco  Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York and Chicago.

The US is home to one of UCL’s largest and most vibrant overseas alumni populations, with over 23,000 graduates living in the country and a growing number of alumni groups nationwide.

The spring 2024 events, which ranged from a fireside chat on the future of media with UCL alumni and media experts to happy hour socials, brought together alumni from the Classes of 1965 to 2024. They connected with fellow former students, expanded their professional networks and heard the latest news from UCL

As we countdown to UCL’s bicentennial in 2026, each event also allowed alumni to engage in conversations about UCL’s future. They learned about the upcoming bicentennial celebrations and shared their ideas on how the university can better support our alumni community in the United States.

Californian connections

The stateside events began on 29 May with a social gathering for San Francisco Bay Area alumni. Graduates gathered at the cosy Vino Locale bar in Palo Alto to enjoy regional wines and form new connections. Volunteers from the UCL San Francisco/Bay Area Alumni Group, which recently relaunched in December 2023, joined the event to introduce themselves to local alumni.

The West Coast celebrations continued the following evening with an event in Santa Monica. The UCL Los Angeles Alumni Group, recently revamped with a team of new alumni volunteers, welcomed guests to a gathering at a bar with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean.

Alumna Sophie Taitt (BA Scandinavian Studies with Management Studies 2001) said: “It's always a joy to reconnect with old alumni and meet new graduates from Southern California and share our experiences of UCL and US life. Connecting with the UCL team in person, who work hard to build a strong US community, strengthens the bonds we all made at UCL. These alumni events provide invaluable opportunities to collaborate beyond graduation, amplifying our stories and raising awareness of the excellent education and successful careers UCL enables."

Deeping bonds in New York and Chicago

The next stop was New York, where more than 35 alumni attended a networking event and fireside chat on the future of media with UCL alumni Ritika Gupta (BSc Economics 2013) and Nikhil Kumar (BA Philosophy 2005). Ritika Gupta is an anchor at Asset TV former Bloomberg TV reporter and producer, while Nikhil Kumar is a journalist and writer who formerly served as Time Magazine’s Deputy International Editor and both Time Magazine’s and CNN’s bureau chief in South Asia.

During the conversation, Ritika and Nikhil shared stories from their varied careers and insights into the media landscape, including new mediums to tell stories, credibility and trust, keeping audiences engaged, and an outlook on covering elections this year in the UK and the US.

Nikhil said: “I owe UCL a great deal, including my career, as it was during a student event there that I met the journalist who, years later, gave me my first job as a trainee reporter. I loved my time there, and it was great to participate in the New York event!"

The event was supported by the UCL New York Alumni Club, which organises a regular programme of social and professional development events to keep alumni in the Tri-State area connected to each other and UCL.

Journalists and UCL alumni Nikhil Kumar and Ritika Gupta discuss the future of media

The final US event took place in Chicago, where alumni gathered at a local bar to enjoy happy hour networking and team trivia. The UCL Chicago Alumni Group, which formed in summer 2023, are our first regional volunteers in the Midwest and are leading the way in connecting alumni around the “Windy City”.

UCL alumni meet up in Chicago

Following the trip, Angharad Milenkovic, Vice-President (Advancement), said: “Here at UCL, we are immensely grateful to our dedicated community of US alumni whose unwavering support for fellow alumni and current students is invaluable. As we look ahead to UCL’s third century, their support and advocacy are vital to our success, ensuring we remain a world leader in education and research.”

The next generation of alumni

UCL is home to a growing community of future US alumni, with over 1,000 students from the US currently studying at both undergraduate and graduate levels. In the 2023/24 academic year, there has been a further significant increase in applications from US undergraduates and the number of students accepting UCL as their first choice.

Want to expand your UCL connections in the US?

UCL Coffee Connect is back with a special United States round! UCL alumni across the US will be randomly paired to connect over a virtual coffee.

This initiative offers a chance to meet, catch up and build connections within the UCL community, with no set discussion topics—conversations can range from professional development to casual chats.

Alumni in the US, whether you studied at UCL for a semester or many years, can register by completing our short form by Monday 8 July 2024.

Sign up for UCL Coffee Connect: United States


San Francisco Bay Area alumni at Vino Locale bar in Palo Alto.