The University of Leicester has established a new endowment fund to provide vital support for the institution in the 21st century and beyond.
The Leicester Endowment Fund was launched by President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Boyle with two generous gifts from alumni supporters Paul Rivlin and David Barry at the University’s House of Lords Reception.
The University has ambitious plans to raise £10 million for the Fund by 2020. Growing the University’s permanent endowment will help to rebalance the University’s mix of income and lessen its dependence on government funding and tuition fees.
President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Boyle explained: “In the face of major government cuts in capital and revenue grants and restrictions on traditional sources of funding, building the University’s general endowment is tremendously important for our future growth and development.
“Leicester has ambitious plans and endowment income can leverage additional funding for world-changing research and state-of-the-art facilities, as well as scholarships to attract the most talented students regardless of background.”
The new endowment fund will be an unrestricted, permanently endowed fund, which will operate much like any savings and investment portfolio to form a stable, ongoing regular source of income. This will provide additional flexibility to enable the University to plan ahead and continue to support its world-changing research and high quality teaching, using the income to fund strategically important projects, such as research institutes, postgraduate scholarships and state-of-the-art facilities.
The inspiration for the Fund came from Politics graduate Paul Rivlin, Partner and Chairman of the Investment Committee of Palatium Investment Management, who helped to launch the Fund with a lead gift. He said: “Life at the University of Leicester challenged me in several ways. My time at Leicester was special and I’m delighted to provide a commitment to the long term future of the University by donating to the permanent endowment.”
Mathematics graduate and retired businessman David Barry, who also helped to launch the fund with a gift explained: “Supporting the Leicester Endowment Fund is the very least I could do after the University gave me such a wonderful start. In addition, I was also very pleased to be able to honour my wife’s memory by helping students in the subject she loved by creating a separate Geography scholarship to enable students to go on field trips to exotic places. I would invite others to join me in helping secure the University of Leicester’s future.”
Director of Development, Steve O’Connor added: “The Leicester Endowment Fund will be vital in helping the University to realise its vision for the 21st century and beyond. Access to this source of funding will afford the University a degree of independence and a competitive advantage within the rapidly changing Higher Education sector.
“Making a philanthropic gift to the Fund is one of the best ways for our donors to achieve a lasting influence on the work of the University whilst supporting research that addresses some of the big global challenges that will benefit communities locally and worldwide.”