Recognising our outstanding alumni with the King’s Awards

At this year’s King’s Awards, held on 23 November, three outstanding alumni were celebrated for their contribution, commitment and support of the King’s alumni community.

Bo-Erik Abrahamsson (Business Management, 2012) and Dr Bertrand Leung (KCSMD, Medicine, 1988) were both awarded the Helen Hudson Award in recognition of their exemplary contributions to the alumni community. These awards are given in memory of Helen Hudson, King’s Dean and Tutor for Women Students from 1959-1982. Olympic champion Dr Katherine Grainger, CBE, was also recognised as ‘Alumna of the Year’.

Inspiring young graduates and alumni

Bo-Erik Abrahamsson (Business Management, 2012) received the Helen Hudson UK Award for his dedication and support as an ‘Alumni Ambassador’. This voluntary role saw him speaking at various alumni events, including King’s Connect mentoring events, where he drew on his experience working in multi-national organisations (Proctor & Gamble, Geneva and Twitter, Singapore) and with his start-up, Digital Fineprint, which was named ‘Best UK General Start-up’ in 2015. He has also worked with the King’s Entrepreneurship Institute and has helped to shape the King’s Young Alumni Network, which will develop more opportunities to share advice, motivation and expertise with young graduates and alumni.

Bo-Erik can add the Helen Hudson Award to two other King’s Awards which he received on graduation – a Future Generations Award for Academic Excellence and the Jelf Medal, a rare honour given to a student who has distinguished themselves during their undergraduate course.

The King’s Young Alumni Network’s launch event takes place on 13 December. 

Linking King’s overseas communities

Dr Bertrand Leung (KCSMD, Medicine, 1988) received the Helen Hudson International Award in recognition of his long-term involvement with King’s and the Hong Kong Alumni Group. Dr Leung, a specialist in General Surgery and Medical Officer at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, has been active in the Group since 2002. He has organised events and class reunions, supported visits to Hong Kong by King’s academics and staff and has been President of the Alumni Committee since 2011. The group is one of King’s most active and committed alumni communities, with a staggering 2300 members. Dr Leung also spearheaded a fundraising effort in Hong Kong to raise money for King’s Ebola campaign in 2015 and has endowed a prize himself, the Dr Bertrand Leung Medical Elective Prize. This annual prize funds travel and living costs for a 4-week summer elective, offering unique learning experiences, fresh perspective and support to King’s MBBS students. 

Dr Leung’s daughter Chloe, currently at King’s studying Global Health and Social Medicine, accepted the award on his behalf. 

Alumna of the year

Dr Katherine Grainger needed no introduction at the Awards. She was selected as ‘Alumna of the Year’ for 2016 in recognition of her role as an Olympian, as an inspiring sports ambassador for the country, and as a long-standing friend, supporter and Fellow of King’s.

Katherine Grainger is Britain's most decorated female Olympian, and is the first British woman to have won medals at five successive Olympic Games, with silver at Rio (2016), gold at London (2012), and three previous silvers (Beijing - 2008, Athens - 2004 and Sydney - 2000). She was made a Fellow of King’s College in 2013. Somehow, she also found time to complete her PhD in Law, which she was awarded in 2013.

On accepting her award she said, “I am hugely honoured and humbled to receive the Alumna of the Year award.  It was wonderful to see so many people with King's connections being successful in sport in 2016 and I was delighted to be one of them.  King's means so much to me and I will never forget all the superb support and patience I received studying for my PhD, while in the same period having to train full time.  Gaining my doctorate and now being given this award rivals the joy, satisfaction and happiness I felt gaining my Olympic Medals.  Thank you, King's”.  

Bo-Erik, Dr Leung and Katherine join Comfort Momoh – 2015 Alumna of the Year  – and other hard-working alumni whose work has gained public recognition and who have helped to build strong links between King’s and all its alumni.