A FORMER Students Union president was awarded the 2018 Bangor University Alumnus of the Year award during graduation week.

Gwilym Rees-Jones graduated with a degree in Maths in 1963, before completing a diploma in teacher training three years later.

During his final year at Bangor, Gwilym served as the Students’ Union's president - a role he remembers fondly.

"My proudest achievement was presenting a report proposing a bespoke Students’ Union building and facilities to the University Grants Committee," he said.

"This resulted in warm praise from the then vice-chancellor, Charles Evans, and the proposals being accepted.

"The building served the University well until it was very recently replaced by Pontio."

The Alumnus of the Year award recognises the achievements, both professional and personal, of Bangor University's graduates, in particular those who have chosen to remain engaged with the university.

After leaving Bangor in 1966, Gwilym Joined British European Airways as an operational research officer and eventually became director of operations planning in what came to be British Airways (BA).

He says his ‘big break’ came in 1987 when he was appointed general manager of the property department.

"It was during this time I experienced my proudest achievement at BA," he said.

"This was winning planning permission for the new HQ, convincing the main Board to approve £200m (in 1990 money) for its construction, and the restoration of landfill sites to create a 250 acre public park for the local community."

As the years passed, Gwilym worked as a project director and director of operations planning at Heathrow before retiring in 2002.

Although he graduated from Bangor over 50 years ago, Gwilym has remained engaged with the University.

He has provided support to current students through careers sessions on management skills and supported The Bangor Fund regularly.

Gwilym's attended the ceremony last week alongside his wife Janice. Professor Paul Spencer was on hand to present him with his special award.

"It’s a great honour which I hadn’t expected at all," Said Gwilym.

"I look back at my years at Bangor with great affection and also feel that I had a wonderful career here which set me up for the rest of my life so I’m really honoured to receive the Award!”