Development & Alumni Relations Office: 2010/2011 year in review

This year Benefactors Boardhas seen a number of significant fundraising successes at the University, made possible thanks to the support of a record number of our alumni and friends. The most high-profile of these was the opening of SITraN, the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience, on 18th November 2010, by HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. This world-leading new facility, which is attempting to find treatments for neurological diseases such as MND and Parkinson’s, was made possible by £10 million of donations, to SIFMND (the Sheffield Institute Foundation for Motor Neurone Disease). This represents the largest philanthropic gift to the University since its foundation in 1905. The University is extremely grateful to the Patrons and supporters of SIFMND for their generosity to SITraN.

Other significant gifts have included a donation of £350,000 from the Inge Sugden (Deceased) Will Trust for Project Sunshine - and towards the end of the year, a major donation of US$1 million, from our most senior alumnus in Hong Kong, The Hon. Sir Sze-yuen Chung (PhD 1951), was confirmed for the Faculty of Engineering.

New giving circle for leadership giving welcomes first member

This year we were pleased Jonathan Stone and Chancellorand proud to admit our first member of the University’s new Roll of Benefactors, the University’s highest honour for philanthropy. Mr Jonathan Stone, a major donor to SIFMND and to SITraN (whose father, Mr Hyman Stone, LLB 1923, was the first elected President of the Students’ Union), was admitted by the Chancellor to the Roll of Benefactors at a special ceremony during the summer’s graduations. His name has now been inscribed on the magnificent Benefactors’ Board, newly installed at the entrance to Firth Court (pictured), which recognises both major leadership donors to the University (£500,000 and more) and legacy donors. However, observers will note that amongst the famous names of the founding benefactors and captains of industry, the very first name on the Benefactors’ Board is “The Citizens of Sheffield” – in recognition of the £50,000 in penny donations (equivalent to over £15 million in today’s money) raised by the steel and factory workers, coal miners, and people of the city in 1904 to build the University.

Record-breaking year for the Alumni Fund

We have been delighted that this tradition of mass support from donors continues today, from alumni, staff, parents and friends (and even students – many of our student telephone fundraisers in particular have chosen to become Alumni Fund donors themselves.) This year, the University received its 10,000th individual donation since 2003, and the Alumni Fund (our year-round mail and telephone fundraising programme) raised a record £400,000. Over 700 people now make regular standing order donations to the University, becoming members of our Silver Arrows gift club – collectively, these gifts contribute more than £120,000 per year, a fantastic source of support for our students. The Development and Alumni Relations Office has also been successful in claiming an additional £1.3 million in matched funds for the University, from the HEFCE Matched Funding for Universities Scheme.

In the past two years your gifts to the Alumni Fund have now created over 200 undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships for all Faculties; awarded grants totalling £250,000 to small departmental capital projects (such as the new Pro Bono centre for the Law School, and a Virtual Imaging Suite for Biomedical Science, which was opened by Nobel Laureate Ada Yonath); and since its creation, the Alumni Foundation has helped over 200 student clubs and societies with grants totalling over £250,000. Thank you!

Legacy donor event launched

Legacy giving continues to be of enormous importance to the University, with almost 500 people having confirmed that they have very generously chosen to support the University through a gift in their Will. We are particularly pleased to pay tribute to the late Mr Peter Glover (BA 1974), whose generous legacy gift of £114,000 has recently enabled the Department of Archaeology to provide facilities for its students such as a minibus for field trips, and to equip a Digital Osteology laboratory. This year also saw the launch of a new legacy event, to thank our alumni and friends who have pledged legacy gifts, and highlight key areas of University excellence. The day included excellent talks by two of our most distinguished academics, the historian Professor Sir Ian Kershaw, and Head of SITraN, Professor Pam Shaw.

Growing alumni events and reunions programme

We have really enjoyed meeting many of our alumni and friends at our growing year-round programme of reunions and events, and  Joe Scarborough Printwelcoming you back to the University in a range of capacities - from attending events, to providing guest lectures or careers advice to our students, Our anniversary reunion days (for those of you celebrating your 25th, 30th, 40th, 50th and 60th anniversaries of graduation) grow ever more popular, and a drinks reception at the House of Lords, hosted by The Rt Hon Lord Hattersley (DLitt 1998), sold out within three hours and attracted 250 alumni guests. We have also worked particularly closely with academic departments to expand our range of sector and department-specific events such as events for Law, Engineering and Business/Management alumni.

We also welcomed local artist Joe Scarborough (Hon DLitt 2008) back to the University to unveil his latest painting, “Our Students’ Journey,” in the new Students’ Union building extension (pictured). Prints of this new painting have already raised over £9,000 for scholarships. To order a limited edition signed print (£40 + p&p), visit: www.sheffield.ac.uk/alumni/merchandise.

Thank you

We would like to extend a huge thank you to all of you who have supported the University this year through your donations, your expertise and time, and your ambassadorship of the University throughout the world. Your support and enthusiasm really does make a tremendous difference to our University’s and our students’ life and work, and their excellent reputation around the world. We hope that you will continue to stay involved with your University, and be proud to play a part in its continued success. If you would like to get involved, please don’t hesitate to contact us on alumni@sheffield.ac.uk.