Prestigious annual dinner celebrates the impact of philanthropy


Members of the Circle of Benefactors attended an annual celebration dinner

The event recognises the contributions of the Circle of Benefactors, a group of Imperial’s most generous supporters.

The Great Hall at the South Kensington Campus was alive with conversation as a group of Imperial’s leading philanthropists gathered for the annual Circle of Benefactors dinner on 5 June 2024.

Hosted by President Hugh Brady, this prestigious event honours the contribution of individuals and organisations whose philanthropy has had transformative impact on Imperial’s research, education and research environment.

Taking space exploration as its theme, the event featured a talk by the first British astronaut, Helen Sharman CMG OBE, who spoke about her experience as a pioneer of space exploration and her work at Imperial to inspire children and young people about science and careers in science, technology, engineering and medicine.

Guests were taken on a musical voyage through the galaxy by the LUNAR Ensemble, featuring 20 musicians from the Imperial College Symphony Orchestra and Orpheus Sinfonia, who performed The Moons Symphony by composer Amanda Lee Falkenberg. Inspired by lunar exploration, this work fuses visuals and music to allow audiences to explore distant lunar worlds and unlock the secrets of the outer solar system.

Professor Hugh Brady, President
Professor Hugh Brady, President

Speaking at the dinner, President Hugh Brady thanked guests for their generous support and described the central place that philanthropy would have in delivering the ambitious plans set out in the Strategy, Science for Humanity. Speaking of the impact of philanthropy, Professor Brady said: “Your incredible generosity as members of this Circle has profoundly changed life at Imperial and beyond, through fuelling innovative research, attracting top academic talent and creating world-class research facilities and programmes.”

The Great Hall

The Circle of Benefactors was established to celebrate exceptional philanthropy that has transformative impact. Since its launch in 2023, 67 supporters have been welcomed into the circle, each recognised for their significant contribution to Imperial. Five new members were inducted into the Circle of Benefactors at the celebration dinner: Quadrature Climate Foundation, Diabetes UK, Blood Cancer UK, Cystic Fibrosis Trust, and the family of James Newton, who made a generous donation to Imperial in his will. The contributions of Circle members are recognised on the installation in the Main Entrance to the South Kensington Campus.

In his closing remarks, Professor Peter Haynes (Vice-Provost, Education and Student Experience and interim Vice President, Advancement) expressed his gratitude to the assembled guests: “It is clear to me that as supporters of Imperial, you have the same excitement and passion for our future ambitions as I do. Your commitment to Imperial is exceptional, and I want to thank you once more, on behalf of all of us here at the University, for your generosity and support.”


Daniel Mapp

Daniel Mapp


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