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Welcome. It is a wonderful 21st Century sensation to exist simultaneously in more than one place. Rest assured, I continue to sit in my box in the South Cloisters, overseeing the activities of UCL students and staff. Yet, I am also here and, should you wish it, I could soon be in your home in the guise of the ingenious paper globe which forms a likeness of my head.

Prior to this, however, I want to explain why I have broken my long silence after so many long years in my glass box. Preserved as I am in an attitude of contemplation, I occupy my hours with the discipline of thinking.

This is a time of change for the funding of higher education. I have been marshalling my thoughts as to what is valuable and, dare I say it, unique about UCL. From my vantage point, I have observed the development of a proud tradition of academic excellence, with radical thinking as our distinguishing feature.

Good tidings have reached me that UCL is rated 4th in the world by the QS World University Rankings 2012/13. This fills me with pride – a pride I hope you share. UCL is ahead of a certain institution I attended myself.

I hope you will help me protect our position now. This is my reason for approaching you for help.

Another advantage of modern life is that you can give your gift now, in an instant. When you do, you may wish to further define the use of your money. Perhaps you want to help offer scholarships and bursaries to students who might not otherwise be able to study at UCL. Alternatively, you may have a preference for supporting research or your own department. I leave that choice to you.

When funds were sought for the establishment of a new and different University all those years ago, I gave a handsome sum – £100 – myself. Today, UCL is still different in ways that matter and that you will have experienced. I ask for your help to protect our traditions and build on our international standing as a place of learning.

Your obedient servant

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Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)

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