University 800 campaign on target for £1 billion

Becky Sage – Deputy News Reporter 18 February 2010

A report has shown that the total amount donated to the University of Cambridge’s 800th Anniversary Campaign stands at £940 million, with £139 million raised in 2008-2009.

The Co-Chairmen of the Campaign said in the report: “This achievement is testimony to the commitment of our alumni and friends to supporting excellence at Cambridge.” They expressed confidence that the Campaign would reach, and potentially exceed, its £1 billion target by 2012.

Alumni represent the largest source of gifts overall, with some colleges attributing over 50% of donations to former students.

Professor Daunton, master of Trinity Hall and Chairman of the Colleges’ Committee said that colleges had had reason to be concerned at the potential impact of the recession, given that they have “become ever more dependent on the generosity of their alumni and other benefactors in order to maintain the excellence of the collegiate system”.However, the extent of gifts awarded to colleges during 2008-2009 suggests that alumni have appreciated the need to give to their colleges in difficult times.

Over half the total sum raised in 2008-2009 went to individual colleges. For example, at Trinity Hall, the Class of 1959 have launched a fund to support the humanities.

Funding from the Gatesby Charitable Foundation will support further developments within the University. The botanic gardens, for instance, will soon contain the Sainsbury Laboratory, which will be dedicated to the study of plant development.

However, only 22% of funds raised during the Campaign will be appropriated for current use, with an additional 43% used for construction.

The remaining 35% will be added to the University’s endowment, which is crucial in order to meet the shortfall between fees and the costs of running the Cambridge education system.

Becky Sage – Deputy News Reporter