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Centenary Campaign helps to raise a record-breaking £11million

Bristol University says 'thank you' to its donors

Bristol University says 'thank you' to its donors

Press release issued: 28 November 2011

Over 7,000 donors gave money to Bristol University as part of its Centenary Campaign to help raise £11million for a variety of initiatives, from providing bursaries to establishing life-saving clinical trials.

New figures show that 2010/11 was a record-breaking year for philanthropic support at Bristol, elevating it to the third most supported University in the UK behind Oxford and Cambridge.

Donations were part of the Centenary Campaign, which was launched in 2009 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Bristol University being granted its Royal Charter. It aims to raise £100million to ensure that the University continues to make a significant impact in its second century.

A total of 6,246 former students made a donation, alongside gifts from 808 friends of the University, which included 381 Bristol Pioneers – those who gave £1,000 or more.

The impact of the £11million is already reaching across the whole University, contributing funds to the Access to Bristol scheme which has given 270 local sixth form students the opportunity to experience University life first-hand and has helped provide 20 bursaries.

A number of individual donors, the JP Moulton Foundation and the Mothercare Foundation gave donations totalling £420,000 to pave the way for clinical trials of a pioneering new treatment using xenon gas, which together with therapeutic body cooling, could help over 1,400 babies a year who are at risk of death or disability following oxygen deprivation at birth.

Funding from the James Tudor Foundation led to a breakthrough technique for turning stem cells into dopamine-producing neurons, which could be used to help regenerate parts of the brain damaged by Parkinson’s disease.

Following the gift of the world-renowned Mander & Mitchenson Collection, supported by the Noel Coward Foundation and the Mackintosh Foundation, the University of Bristol Theatre Collection is now one of the largest and finest theatre history archives in the world.

Donations of £20 to £150 were combined to enable the University to run Skirting Science workshops, aimed at persuading more female students in the South West to apply for science courses at the University.

Professor Eric Thomas, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol, said: “For over 7,000 donors to pledge their support in such a generous fashion is really encouraging. Their cumulative support enables the University to work hard in the areas we care about, making a difference both to the community through local initiatives and having a great impact globally through our research.”

A new video has been launched to promote the Centenary Campaign, available on the Alumni and Friends website.

Bristol University has long benefited from philanthropy, ever since it was established courtesy of a £100,000 donation from local businessman and philanthropist Henry Overton Wills in 1909. Generous support over the last 100 years has helped establish the University as a world-class institution, leading the field in a number of key areas, despite its comparative youthfulness.