Development & Alumni Relations Office 

Ed Vernon honoured to be named Allstate NI Queen’s Alumni

Volunteer of the Year 2022

Ed Vernon

Left: Ed received his honorary degree from Queen’s in 2013
Right: Ed pictured in 1985, soon after leaving Queen’s to launch BIC systems 

Friday 30 September 2022

Ed Vernon OBE is the 2022 Allstate NI Queen’s Alumni Volunteer of the Year.

The award recognises decades of commitment and service that Ed has given to Queen’s, contributing to important projects across the University, including leading the philanthropic campaign to create a home for Queen’s Management School at Riddel Hall, driving the launch of the Bright Future Collective which enlists corporate support for widening participation, and service through the Foundation Board.

Ed has also shown great leadership as a board member, deputy chair and interim chair of the Queen’s Foundation Board, dedicating much of his time and expertise towards raising funds and inspiring other volunteers.

“I’m honoured to receive this award, not least because I never anticipated or sought any recognition for just getting on and doing things I thought were important for Queen’s,” Ed said.

“I find myself in the esteemed company of previous recipients who are all passionate about supporting the amazing work that goes on across the University. From a personal perspective, volunteering is very rewarding especially when you see how this work can support the vision for Queen’s and the wider impact it has on society."

Ed has been a member of the Queen’s family for more than 40 years. He gained a BSc in Electrical & Electronic Engineering in 1981, followed by a MSc in Electronic Engineering in 1982. Following this he co-founded B.I.C systems, which became a leading technology business and was subsequently acquired by BT for £18m in 2004.

In 2012 Ed was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in recognition of his services to economic development and also received an honorary DSc in Economics from Queen’s the following year.

“Queen’s has played a huge role in my life. After completing my Master’s degree I took my first steps into the world of work with the Wolfson Unit at Queen’s” he said.

“It’s nice to walk around the campus, visiting old haunts and seeing how Queen’s is looking towards the future. As a volunteer I have had the opportunity to maintain and build strong connections with students, staff and alumni across the years.

“The University has a real place in my heart. A special moment for me was attending my son Eddie’s graduation not just as a proud dad, but to receive my honorary doctorate in Economics at the same ceremony. We have the degree certificates framed side by side in the house.”

Over the years, Ed’s fundraising has transformed the landscape at Queen’s. He was instrumental in forming the Riddel Hall Founders' Club, a group of 20 local companies who together provided support of over £1.5m to the project which unified management education on the Riddel Hall site.

He also champions the work of the Bright Future Collective - an initiative established to encourage engagement between local companies and to support Queen’s students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Nathalie Trott, Director of the Development and Alumni Relations Office at Queen’s congratulated Ed on his award and his “generosity of spirit” in his work as an Alumni Volunteer.

“Ed’s contribution to Queen’s is remarkable and the impact he has had is visible across the campus. His influence is apparent in building projects, in student initiatives and in the mindset of colleagues that he has mentored, championed and advised,” Nathalie said.

“Ed is the gold standard of leadership volunteering and I have no doubt that his continued efforts and the example that he has set for others will continue to shape and improve Queen’s for years to come.”

Ed will be presented with his award at the Charter Day Dinner in November, hosted by the Queen’s Graduate’s Association (QGA).
QGA President Feargus McCauley extended his congratulations to Ed on his achievement.

“The Alumni Volunteer of the Year award – now in its ninth year – is a chance for Queen’s to highlight the exceptional contribution of one volunteer to the University.

“Ed has proved himself time and time again to be an effective advocate for Queen’s. His dedication, commitment and passion makes him a true role model for volunteers, staff, students and alumni across Queen’s.”

John Healy, Managing Director and Vice President of AllState NI, also commended Ed on being named the 2022 Allstate NI Alumni Volunteer of the Year.

Volunteering is an important and rewarding part of Allstate’s culture and we witness regularly what a huge difference that volunteer-led projects can make to communities, families, and institutions like Queen’s.

“Ed Vernon has set a wonderful example of what a volunteer can achieve and has helped fledgling initiatives grow into major projects that will change lives for the better.”

To find out more about the Allstate NI Queen’s Alumni Volunteer of the Year and read about previous winners, please visit:


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