World-renowned writer and speaker to lead the University’s global alumni network

29 October 2019

One of the world’s leading thinkers in education is to head up a new committee for the University of Derby’s worldwide community of graduates, stakeholders and ambassadors.

Richard Gerver, who himself studied at the University and went on to transform the fortunes of a Derbyshire primary school before establishing a global reputation for his books and talks on education, will chair the University’s Alumni and Membership Advisory Board.

After graduating from the University of Derby in 1992, Richard went into teaching. It was while he was headteacher at Grange Primary School in Long Eaton that he rose to prominence for turning around what had been a failing school into a high-achieving learning environment.

He has gone on to establish a highly successful career as a writer and a motivational speaker, as well as advisor to many of the world’s largest organisations such as Google, Visa and Microsoft, and to figures from the world of sport, including Premier League and Olympic coaches. Former US President Barack Obama is among those who have attended talks presented by Richard.

Richard said: “It is a huge honour to have been invited to chair the board. I graduated in the University’s first year and as we head towards our 30th anniversary, I think that it is vital that we reconnect with our Alumni and many supporters whose efforts are writ large in our history. I hope that the Board will play an influential and supportive role in the life of the university and our students past, present and future.”

The role of the board Richard will head up is to strengthen links between the University and its alumni – former students – and to generate support across the globe for the work of the University, its students and its staff.

Professor Kathryn Mitchell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, adds: “Our alumni community is vitally important to us. Their success and achievements reflect upon the learning and teaching environment here, while their role as ambassadors for, and supporters of, the University is hugely influential and beneficial.

“I am delighted that Richard has agreed to chair the first Alumni and Membership Advisory Board. His ability to lead and to enthuse will be a great asset to the work of the board as we connect to our alumni around the world.”

For more information about Richard Gerver, visit

For information about the University of Derby Alumni community, visit

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