11 April 2023

Each year, Linköping University recognises the work and commitment of previous students by choosing two Alumni of the Year. But for this to be possible, there need to be people who nominate, explains Fredrik Andersson, alumni relations manager at LiU.

Happy people on stage. Text in the background: The Alumni of the Year in 2022 were nurse Gunilla Lööf, who makes encounters with healthcare easier for children, and artist and filmmaker Salad Hilowle, who highlights Afro-Swedish people in art. Also included in the photo are LiU's Deputy Vice-Chancellor Karin Axelsson and Alumni Relations Manager Fredrik Andersson. Magnus Johansson

Why should I nominate someone for Alumni of the Year?
“It's a good chance to highlight a person you think has made a great contribution. For all of us at LiU, it’s very valuable to receive nominations and to find out what our alumni are doing. Everyone is welcome to nominate!”

Previous recipients of the Alumni of the Year award include the Speaker of the Swedish parliament Andreas Norlén and previous state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell. Does it have to be a celebrity?
“No, certainly not. The Alumni of the Year must have studied for the equivalent of at least two years on a full-time basis, and then made their mark, perhaps through an achievement or a particular commitment to an issue. We are proud to be a broad-based university and want to give recognition to people from all our educational programmes. It’s great to present relative unknowns that have not received much attention, but who are doing a very good job away from the public eye. We need help to find those hidden gems.”

Man (Fredrik Andersson) speaks on stage.Fredrik Andersson, alumni relations manager. Photo credit Magnus Johansson How do I nominate?
“This year, we have a nomination form on the website for the first time. You can also nominate by email. It’s possible to nominate all year round, but nominations for Alumni of the Year 2023 must be received by 1 May.”

What does it mean to be Alumni of the Year?
“The Alumni of the Year receive a lot of publicity and attention from LiU, and often also from news media. There is no prize money involved, it’s more about the honour. They get their names engraved on a plate that is placed in Äppellunden on Campus Valla and are honoured at a ceremony that usually takes place on a Friday in October. There, the Alumni of the Year talk about themselves and receive diplomas and plaques.” 

What's the best thing about working with Alumni of the Year?
“Of course, it's nice to hand out the award and see the impact it has for the alumni, but I also particularly enjoy going through the nominations. There you really see the breadth of what we do. So, I hope we get a lot of them!”

Translation: Simon Phillips


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