UCL News


A celebration of philanthropy at UCL

15 January 2010

A group of UCL's most generous donors saw first hand the impact of their support at a celebration of philanthropy at the university on 13 January.

Helena Franklin

Alumni and other UCL supporters met students who have benefited from scholarships and bursaries they had funded, and learned from a number of senior academics about initiatives their gifts had made possible, from neonatal resuscitation research to the refurbishment of libraries and laboratories.

The event marked the launch of the Provost's Circle, UCL's new leadership giving club. UCL President and Provost Professor Malcolm Grant welcomed guests and thanked them for their ongoing commitment to the university. He described how UCL was founded on philanthropy, and why philanthropic support today is vital to realise UCL's ambitions and ensure our place among the leading universities in the world.

Professor David Price, Vice-Provost (Research), shared with those present the university's Grand Challenge research strategy, which draws on expertise and skills from across the university to help find innovative solutions to the world's major challenges in health, climate change and international development.

Helena Franklin, who graduated from UCL English in 2008, provided the personal perspective on the difference a scholarship can make:

"Coming to university is an amazing opportunity but it carries with it a lot of financial risk. I don't know what I would have done without my scholarship but I am certain I wouldn't have had the same quality of experience at university that I did. I am so grateful to the generous people who donated to make my scholarship possible and know that in the future, when I am in a position to do so, I will do the same."

Provost's Circle member Dr David John Price CBE, who graduated from UCL Engineering in 1977 and has contributed to UCL's scholarship fund, explained his motivation for supporting his university:

"My wife and I both enjoyed ourselves enormously when we were students at UCL in the seventies and felt that the education we received was excellent.  Our younger daughter graduated from the History department last summer so I have retained a continued interest over the years.  I also understand just how expensive it is to be a student today and I am delighted to be able to support new undergraduates at UCL today."

Chris Wilkinson, a 1975 graduate of UCL Laws, described why he supports his university: "I think the financial pressures on higher education establishments generally have never been greater, particularly in London. As one who has benefited from being a graduate of such an excellent law faculty as UCL, I am happy to help, even in a small way, with that faculty's ambitious plans for the future. I would like to think that many others who have similarly benefited in the past will do so as well."

Images from top: Helena Franklin thanks donors for her scholarship; UCL President and Provost Professor Malcolm Grant (centre) with guests

UCL context

The Provost's Circle is UCL's leadership giving club that recognises the university's most generous supporters. Those individuals who have made gifts of £1,000 or more to UCL in a single year qualify for membership. Members of the Circle make gifts which underpin UCL's ability to fulfil its goals to pursue excellence and to ensure access for the brightest students, regardless of wealth or background.

If you would like to join the Circle, or know more about membership, please contact Sian Hoggett on (44) 020 7679 9741 or follow the link at the top of this article.