Imperial this week published its Annual Fundraising Report, celebrating those who give to the College and showcasing the impact of their support.
A community of donors
In the 2016 ndash; 17 academic year, a record number of supporters raised more than £51.5M for the College, an increase of 31.1M from the previous year. Of the 9,681 people who gave to the College, nearly half were alumni and more than 4,000 made a donation for the very first time. This growing donor community now spans 87 countries around the world.
2016–17 saw landmark gifts such as the Lees Charitable Foundation’s £5M gift towards scholarships for clinical-academic training in the Faculty of Medicine and Good Ventures’ $13.5m gift to the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative. Many other alumni and friends chose to contribute to one of the College’s ten funds, coming together to have a combined impact on every aspect of life at Imperial – from enriching the student experience through scholarships, hardship bursaries and support services, to enabling frontier academic research and improving facilities. Some supporters began giving back to the College the moment they left, with 131 students marking their graduation with a gift to the Student Hardship Fund.
The impact of giving
The Annual Fundraising Report touches on a number of stories that showcase the impact of philanthropy, including the recent openings of The Invention Rooms and the Brahmal Vasudevan Multi Terrain Aerial Robotics Arena, and the graduation of our first cohort of Thermo Fisher Scholars.
PhD researcher Hiral Shah also tells how support from the Grantham Foundation is helping him investigate the links between environmental management, biodiversity and human health, while Professor Nick Buenfeld shares how the new Techrete Lectureship in Façade Engineering will help Imperial tackle an important and pressing engineering challenge. All of these developments, and many more, would not have been possible without the generous support of Imperial’s donor community.
In this year’s report we also pay special tribute to Dr Gloria Borley (Geology 1960, PhD 1962), who passed away in 2016, leaving a generous legacy gift to support research into neurodegenerative diseases at Imperial. Dr Borley is one of hundreds of alumni who have made the exceptional commitment to pledge a gift to Imperial in their will and, in doing so, are investing in the future of research and education at the College.
The support from Imperial’s community is also felt very personally by those who receive it. The Annual Fundraising Report provides an opportunity for those who have directly benefited from philanthropic gifts to share their stories and send a message to the donor community.
Undergraduate student Marta Ungureanu tells how a President’s Scholarship helped her achieve a life-long goal of moving to the UK and studying at a world-class university.
“Moving to another country is never easy,” she says, “but my President’s Scholarship was very helpful, enabling me to pay my rent and settle into my new home. I would like to thank everyone who supports the President’s Scholarship Fund. What you’re doing is wonderful – helping students regardless of their background, nationality or anything other than their academic performance. Apart from the financial help, the award also boosts our confidence. It says to us: ‘we believe you can do it.’”
For Samuel Garcin, a bursary from the Faculty of Engineering Dean’s Fund helped him continue his studies when a change in family circumstances led to financial difficulty.
“My family’s financial situation changed dramatically after my father fell ill,” he says. “At the time, I seriously considered stopping my studies. Thankfully, I received a lot of support from the College and my bursary from the Faculty of Engineering Dean’s Fund greatly helped me cover my living expenses.
"To everyone who supports the Deans’ Funds, I would like to say thank you so much for your help. Being able to obtain some emergency financial support allowed me to change my situation, and gave me the motivation to make the most of my time at Imperial. I promise that I will follow in your footsteps and join the donor community when I make it big.”
Donors, too, had a chance to share their thoughts, such as Haris Sitzoglou (MSc DIC Risk Management and Financial Engineering, 2008), who explains his motivation for giving to Imperial:
“For me, giving back is not just about how much I benefited from the College,” he says. “It’s also about recognising the impact I see alumni having in so many aspects of life. From engineering to cancer research and from climate change to artificial intelligence and innovation, Imperial has nurtured and equipped top calibre leaders for more than a century.”
A shared success
Raising over £51.5m for research, education and Campus development is a success in which the whole College community shares. Academics, staff, students, alumni and volunteers all play an important role in creating connections, developing relationships and sharing Imperial’s work and its mission with the world.
Mary Reynolds, Director of Development and Campaigns said:
"The Imperial community is known for its collaborative spirit and for the impact our students, academics and alumni have on the world. The stories from the Annual Fundraising Report are just further examples of how, when we work together, we achieve great things. To everyone who made a gift and who helped us raise such a significant amount for the College, thank you."
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