Campaign passes £100m target

Thanks to gifts from more than 16,000 alumni, colleagues, other individuals and organisations, our Making a World of Difference Campaign has now surpassed its £100m fundraising target.

Hundreds of students have been supported by scholarships, courtesy of the Making a World of Difference campaign

Making a World of Difference  Campaign breaks £100m target. December 2020

Launched 10 years ago, the campaign was our first major fundraising effort since the 1920s – and our donors have responded magnificently. Their generous support – now totalling more than £107m – has been felt across campus: by the many hundreds of students whose studies have been supported by scholarships, through research projects and PhD funding, to new buildings and facilities. 

Many of our alumni were motivated by the opportunity to support today’s students. Their gifts have enabled outreach programmes with schools and partners like IntoUniversity, while more than 1,800 students have received widening participation scholarships to study at Leeds.

“The campaign has been critical to our work both in raising young people’s aspirations and supporting students from less privileged backgrounds,” said Louise Banahene, Director of Educational Engagement. “Our donors have allowed us to go further and faster, and bring the benefits of higher education to communities and families which we might otherwise have been unable to reach.”

Tackling global challenges

Gifts for research are supporting our mission in tackling major global challenges. Funding for PhDs has enabled doctoral students to join major research projects, while for Academic Fellows, this has brought fresh talent into our research teams as they develop into the academic leaders of the future.

Dr Francesco Del Galdo heads a national programme for research into the inflammatory disease scleroderma. He said: “Donor support has fast-tracked Leeds’s position as a world-leader in rheumatology treatment and research. The funding is driving forward our work to understand the causes of scleroderma – and search for the drugs which might prevent it.”

Making a World of Difference  Campaign breaks £100m target. December 2020

Dr Francesco Del Galdo, who heads a national programme for research into the inflammatory disease scleroderma

The Laidlaw Library, Marjorie and Arnold Ziff Building, Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery and Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery are perhaps the most visible symbols of the campaign, but further donations have also strengthened our research infrastructure.

The Wolfson Imaging Facility, to be housed in the new Sir William Henry Bragg Building, will give Leeds one of the world’s most advanced imaging centres, where high-speed, high-resolution technologies will allow our scientists to examine in unprecedented detail how molecules move across cells or interact with drugs.

This is a major step forward for Leeds, as Professor Sheena Radford, Astbury Centre Director, explains: “Life is full of molecules in motion. If we can discover how they move, and where they go within cells, we can learn more about how cells stay healthy and what happens when molecules misbehave.”

Making a World of Difference  Campaign breaks £100m target. December 2020

The Laidlaw Library, which was funded through the campaign

Supporting students

Most recently, our donors have responded generously to special needs arising from the covid-19 pandemic. In the space of a few weeks, 500 gifts totalling £150,000 established a special fund to help students who had been hit financially by the pandemic, while the NHS Student Workforce Fund supported medical, nursing and healthcare students whose studies were disrupted by the crisis.

Congratulating all those involved in the success of the campaign, Professor Simone Buitendijk, Vice-Chancellor, said: “This wonderful achievement speaks volumes for the affection which I know many of our alumni and donors feel for our University.

“It is also a measure of the faith they have placed in the University to genuinely make a world of difference. We now have a clear opportunity to build on this success as we prepare the new strategy which will guide our progress over the years ahead.”

Posted in: