Pembroke receives record-breaking £34.9m alumni donation

Jack May 3 December 2015

Pembroke College has received a record-breaking bequest of £34.9 million from an alumnus, in the largest donation ever made to a Cambridge college.

The bequest comes from Ray Dolby, the American inventor behind Dolby Noise Reduction and Dolby Laboratories. Dolby, who died in 2013, was a Research Fellow at Pembroke College during the early 1960s.

It is understood that the donation will aid the College's planned expansion onto Mill Lane. As part of this, Pembroke will recognise this landmark donation by naming a new court within the development the Ray and Dagmar Dolby Court, as a tribute to Dolby and his wife, Dagmar, who he met at Cambridge.

Besides being the largest donation a Cambridge college is known to have received, this donation is also significant as being the largest donation received by the university in any form since the recent launch of the 'Dear World…Yours, Cambridge' campaign, which aims to raise £2 billion for the university as a whole.

One student at Pembroke commented: "This is certainly a very generous donation, and hopefully the college will put it to good use over the coming years. There has been talk of this in college for some time, but I wonder exactly how Pembroke plans to use the donation. Will it be mainly used for the new developments on Mill Lane, or will the funds be channelled towards grants and bursaries for students?"