St Andrews University targets past and current students to raise funds
St Andrews University, Scotland’s oldest university, is launching a private philanthropic fundraising campaign aimed at its alumni network to raise £100m to help it compete on the global stage, as part of its 600-year celebrations which begin in November.
Dr Louise Richardson, the university's first woman principal appointed earlier this year from Harvard, said St Andrews needed to attract private funding if it was to continue to compete with the world's most prestigious educational institutions and said it could not rely on government funding to achieve that.
In an interview with the Alumnus Chronicle, the magazine for St Andrews alumni, Richardson said: "We are in a globally competitive market and I think we need to generate more revenue than we can reasonably expect the government to provide in these straitened financial times.
"Therefore I intend to make a push on private philanthropy, not as an end in itself but in order to allow us to invest in excellence, in order to allow us to recruit the best teachers and the best students."
Projects earmarked to receive funding from the campaign include a new medical research institute and the university library.
The money will also be used to establish a scholarship and professorship endowment fund and to support sport, music and the students' association. The campaign will be launched formally in November, by which time the university hopes to have raised £25m.
Niall Scott, Director of Communications at St Andrews, told Philanthropy UK that a high-profile launch is planned for the autumn.
Meanwhile, this week, the university announced the launch of a US style 'Graduating Class Gift' initiative for graduating students called Legacy 09, set up and run entirely by students. It will allow the Class of 2009 to be the first to be able to give something back to St Andrews, and contribute to both the history and the future of the University.
Graduating students are each being asked to donate a small amount to the gift, and the money raised will be split between a student-chosen project within the University and an endowment fund.
Andrew Keenan, President of the Students' Association said, "The programme means that graduating years can leave their mark on the town in whatever way they choose - be it contributing to a particular building project, a scholarship or bursary or something completely different - and be commemorated many years after they've gone."
Scott told Philanthropy UK, “In the best tradition of good ideas this is a simple one. We have a large cohort of students from the US, where this kind of fundraising is common practice and it’s one our principal is very familiar with from her time at Harvard.”
This year's gift will be a scholarship, and in future years graduating classes will have the opportunity to choose a project, fund or cause which is important to them.
For more information about this year's gift or to make a donation, visit St Andrews University website.