Running and parachute jumping in memory of Chris Shawe 

On 10 August 2014 alumnus Chris Shawe (BA Accounting and Financial Management and Economics 2000) died suddenly and unexpectedly. Donations made in his memory were significant and allowed his wife, Nicola, to set up a scholarship fund in his memory.

In light of Chris' interest in all things scientific, the Chris Shawe Scholarship Fund was set up to sponsor postgraduate students in the field of biomedical science at the University. The Fund is aimed at outstanding students who would not otherwise be able to afford to continue with their studies.

In 2015 two students were sponsored and are both doing exceptionally well. Enough funds were raised in the last year to sponsor a further two students. Nicola was able to visit the University and meet the sponsored students, and found it truly inspiring to see something so positive arising from such a tragedy.

Nicola’s family and friends have continued fundraising in 2016, and Nicola was one of a group of five family and friends who took part in the Lincoln 10K run in April, raising over £3,000.

Most recently Nicola’s sister, Joanne Rotondo, declared:

“now it's my turn ... I've agreed to jump out of a plane and I'm flipping terrified so you need to make it worth my while!”

Despite her trepidation, Joanne successfully completed a parachute jump on 22 October and has beaten her fundraising target by raising over £1,000. Joanne said of the experience:

“It is safe to say that I will never ever be doing it again! It was truly terrifying. Having hit what my tandem partner described as “a ferocious cloud” complete with hailstones in freefall, I struggled to breathe through it so I was pretty pleased to just still be conscious when I hit the ground as it felt a little touch and go at one point ... but the landing was gentle and aside from a bit of windburn no injuries were sustained so that was a good result anyway!

“I am absolutely thrilled to have raised the money that I have so far for such a worthwhile cause and in memory of Chris who is sadly missed every day. I am so grateful to everyone that sponsored me and that made it all worthwhile. I am sure Chris would have had a good giggle at my expense knowing how terrified I was, and afterwards he would no doubt have put together a photo collage video with background music of ‘The Final Countdown’!”.

We are very grateful to Nicola, Joanne and their family and friends for fundraising to support our students in memory of Chris.

Joanne Rotondo parachuting in memory of Chris Shawe

Joanne Rotondo

Are you considering a fundraising event soon? Why not consider to raising funds for an area or project at the University? Find out more on our Fundraising web page or contact David Meadows at or Debbie Beaumont-Thomas at

Click here for more Latest News