The beneficiary of a scholarship himself, Imperial alumnus Jim Platt (Earth Science and Engineering 1960) appreciates the value of investing in education.

Originally from Cornwall, Jim joined the College in 1957 and was lucky enough to be awarded a local County Council-funded scholarship. “Without the funding, there was no chance I would ever have been able to come to London to study at Imperial,” Jim says. “It covered all aspects of university life, such as fees, books, accommodation and subsistence.”

Jim recalls higher education was relatively accessible compared to the competitive landscape today. “In principle, anyone who qualified and met the criteria could obtain a university place, and in that sense I feel my generation was very lucky. Today, it’s not so easy for students, and the costs associated with going to university are high, so scholarships play a vital role.”

Jim decided to donate to the President’s Scholarship Fund after he retired from work. “I couldn’t afford much, but I still wanted to make a contribution and give back to the College,” he says. “I always feel welcome when I come to Imperial, and a sense of belonging and ownership as an alumnus and donor.” 

Despite living overseas, Jim is a regular attendee at various College events, including the Imperial Festival and annual Donor Thank You Event.  “I see scholarship giving as an ongoing cycle. I was a scholar myself and was inspired to give, so others may have the same opportunity as I did to study at Imperial. Ideally the cycle will perpetuate and today’s scholars will go onto invest in the scholarships of tomorrow.”