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News > Alumni Events > OR Reunion in Bellingham

OR Reunion in Bellingham

Bellingham, 50 miles south of Vancouver and 80 miles north of Seattle, hosted the Headmaster’s 5th US alumni meeting and is home to two of Reading School’s remarkable alumni.
20 May 2024
United States of America
Alumni Events
OR Reunion in Bellingham
OR Reunion in Bellingham

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ORs in the USA

Professor Jim Talbot (class of 1951) must be one of the most energetic 91 year olds on the planet. Encouraged by a relative he joined Reading School from Alfred Sutton, he read Geology at Jesus College, Cambridge, before leading a long and distinguished academic career in Western Washington University. A former Provost, Curriculum Committee chair and University Vice President, Jim shared his educational philosophy, “Always trying to make sure my lectures got at least one laugh per hour, because learning has to be engaging if it is to stick.”

Jim provided commentary on the rock formations of the Bellingham Bay and San Juan islands as he and the Headmaster were taken for a morning cruise in Dr Peter Coggan’s beautiful power catamaran.

 

 



Dr Peter Coggan (School Captain in the class of 1964) with his partner Maureen, has retired to Bellingham after a prestigious academic journey. Formerly Dean of Michigan State University’s Medical School, Peter supported public health, practiced family medicine, improved medical students recruitment and examinations, and backed strategic philanthropic endeavours.

Peter has graciously funded one of the school’s new rowing boats, which will be named Invictus after the famous poem by William Ernest Henley. This poem holds special meaning for him; his father passed away while he was school captain, and his mother passed away just four years later. Peter received much support in his grief from the school’s long-term benefactor, Alfred Edgar Milward, whose example Peter has admirably followed throughout his life.

After six days of flying, the Headmaster was privileged to spend a whole day with Peter and Maureen, absorbing their wisdom and reflecting on Peter’s memories of the School. Peter played every sport possible and remembered with great fondness the co-curricular provision in the school, which set it apart from the county grammar school he studied in until the age of 15. He provided much counsel to Dr Evans, encouraging the school use the 900th anniversary to build relationships and to develop a strategy with the Reading Foundation and the Old Redingensians Association, which might help the school’s friends and partners to combine their influence and resources in aid of the school’s mission. We hope this journey has already begun – after all, it was only through the connections of the Old Redingensian Archivist, and in response to the Headmaster’s visit that Peter and Jim got to meet for the first time!

Invitations to the 900th Anniversary reunion on 12th July 2025 were extended to Professor Talbot and Dr Coggan, along with a framed collection of school photos from 1962 for Dr Coggan.

 

 

 

#OldRedingensians hashtag#ReadingSchool hashtag#AlumniReunion hashtag#Bellingham hashtag#900thAnniversary hashtag#Memories

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