Grateful alumnus funds postgraduate scholarships 

Four postgraduate students are the grateful recipients of scholarships funded thanks to the generosity of the late Mr Donald Gartside (1935-2016), who graduated from the University in 1956 with a BA in English, French and Music, followed by a Diploma of Education in 1957.

Growing up in Lancashire, Donald was one the first students to sit the new ‘O’ Level and ‘A’ Level exams, which meant he could apply for a place at university, depending on his exam results. At that time, Local Education Authorities provided financial support to students with successful university places, by awarding a means-tested grant (not a loan) to cover the three or four years at university – one of which Donald received. Mr Gartside went on to have a career in teaching, mainly in the Manchester area.

In later life, Mr Gartside wrote a letter to the University, in which he explained what receiving that grant had meant to him as a student and throughout his life, and why he chose in turn to support Sheffield students by making donations of over £2,500 during his lifetime, as well as by leaving a gift of over £20,000 to the University in his Will.

Here is an extract from that letter:

Click to read Donald's letter in full

Thanks to a scheme whereby the University has matched Mr Gartside’s gift, four postgraduate students starting their Masters courses in October 2018 have each received scholarships totalling £10,000. These scholarships have had a tremendous impact for each of them, both financially and personally, and their comments below truly show what a defining moment in their own lives receiving a Donald Gartside Scholarship has been.

Deborah - Donald Gartside Scholarship

Deborah Hoggett, is studying for her MSc Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience and speaks of the possibilities her scholarship has offered her:

"I have used the Donald Gartside Scholarship to fund my course. Without it, I would not have been able to progress to postgraduate study and support my family financially. With my course fees paid for, I am able to volunteer with charities like Autism Plus to gain invaluable experience working with individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders. I hope that with the help of the scholarship I will be able pursue my dreams."

Maria - Donald Gartside Scholarship

Maria Fuller, studying an MSc in Economics and Public Policy, says:

"I am extremely grateful for the opportunity the Donald Gartside Scholarship has provided, to return back to university. I had always wanted to continue in education and study a Masters course - and the scholarship has made it possible. Thanks to Mr Gartside, I am finding my confidence in Economics and academia again."

Haider Saleem, who is studying an MA in Philosophy, says:

“…since I do not rely on parental income, and coming from a very working class and ethnic background, the opportunity to pursue a Masters seemed out of reach; without the Donald Gartside Scholarship, I truly would not be able to pursue my passion in the subject. But Mr Gartside's financial aid has and will have profound effects on my future and personality. Finding out that I received the scholarship filled with me renewed optimism and confidence.”

An anonymous student, studying MA Landscape Architecture, who received the Donald Gartside Scholarship explained:

"I appreciate the financial support of the Donald Gartside Scholarship more than he could ever know. My life has been difficult as I've had a different path into education. This financial support has allowed me to pursue my goals in life and I am so grateful and thankful to Mr Gartside for that.”

These are just four of the 50 postgraduate scholarships which have been funded by generous donations from alumni and friends of the University this year.

Gifts to the University in Wills, both large and small, can have a truly transformative impact for our students. Further information, including our downloadable legacy brochure, can be found here, or contact the University’s legacy officer, David Meadows at or on 0114 222 1073

Find out more about Legacies to the University of Sheffield

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