Having started out as a merchant, Dinwiddie had joined the British colonial government service in 1727 and was first posted to Bermuda; twenty years after the island had become a British colony following unification.

It was nearing the end of the American Revolution in 1783, when Arts graduate, Reverend James Muir was made Minister of the Scottish Presbyterian Church in Bermuda in 1781. It was estimated that during the American Revolution more than ten thousand Bermudians had emigrated primarily to the American South. Muir, who was also principal of an Academy in Bermuda followed the likes of Dinwiddie and the emigrants before him, and went on to Virginia, where he became Minister of the first Presbyterian Church at Alexandria in 1788.

The University also welcomed its first Bermuda-born graduate in the eighteenth century; Samuel Fitt graduated MD in 1786 and returned to Bermuda with his qualification to set up a medical practice with Scot, Dr Archibald Campbell.

During the nineteenth century, Bermuda’s merchant shipping trade and salt export was in stark decline, and, as one student connection displays, Bermuda was reduced to little more than a naval and military base; Arts student William Furlong was Chaplain in Bermuda to the 42nd Highlanders (The Black Watch) from 1848, and left shortly before the outbreak of the American Civil War which saw Bermuda used as a base for Confederate blockade running.

Subsequent Bermuda-born students, such as medical student William Tucker and Arts graduate Thomas Forbes Winslow, who had returned to the UK for their education, did not return to Bermuda but settled mainly in the UK.