Volunteer of the Year Award celebrates support for our university

  • Date

    Wed 5 Jun 24

Barry van Eupen

An amazing group of volunteers support the University of Essex’s mission to deliver a transformational education.

Their experience and expertise can make a difference to students by offering them mentoring, advice and support which complements what they are learning on their courses and can often be really valuable in preparing them for their future careers and further studies.

Although volunteers come from every part of the community, alumni who studied at Essex can often choose to get involved to maintain a connection with the University or to reestablish a link.

To celebrate National Volunteers’ Week from 3 to 9 June, we’re saying a big thank you to the hundreds of alumni who have given up their time to support Essex over the last year and highlighting one of this special band of volunteers.

Barry van Eupen who completed his BA in Economics in 1971 is celebrating over a decade of volunteering and is our Volunteer of the Year.

Director of Advancement Jo Rogers said: “Our volunteers make such a difference to our students and we are so grateful for the time, knowledge and expertise Barry has shared with our community over the years.”

Due to his extensive international business expertise Barry has been a big supporter of our programme of extra-curricular activities helping students develop business and entrepreneurial skills. He has taken part in careers and professional networking events for students, mentoring and supporting the student Enactus Society which encourages social entrepreneurship. He has also been a member of University Court and sits on the board of trustees for the Students’ Union.

Barry said: “I have loved my voluntary work in various roles across the University and Students’ Union and it has been immensely rewarding. The passion, calibre and motivation of students is, and continues to be, inspiring as is being a part of the University community. 

“I feel incredibly honoured to be named as the University’s 2024 Alumni Volunteer and look forward to continuing my support in the years to come.

“My involvement with the University has now been almost 60 years as I was accepted as a student in 1968. After an extensive career working abroad I returned to the UK and, settling in Colchester, was keen to rebuild my connection with the University as an Alumni, I am firmly of the belief that my contribution is in some sense a small way of repaying the opportunity afforded me at the beginning of my career all those years ago at the University of Essex.”

If you’re a graduate interested in how you could get involved in supporting the University go to our Giving Back pages.

Volunteer of the Year Award celebrates support for our university