Graduates of the University of Aberdeen have shown record support to their alma mater to enhance the experience of current students and to further important discoveries.
The telephone campaign, run by current students of the Aberdeen Future Fund, the University’s development fund, has raised £655,895.31 thanks to the support of former students who enjoyed their time at the University - exceeding its target by over £250,000.
Twenty three student callers over eight months spoke to alumni about their own University experiences and the positive impact their gift would have on the lives and welfare of the University’s students and staff.
Some of the money raised will go towards the new Library and Special Collections centre, opening in September, which will include state of the art education suites, seminar facilities, a rare books reading room, exhibition spaces, and will be used by 70,000 visitors a year. The Aberdeen Future Fund has pledged to fund an entire floor of the library, costing £1million, through the donations and gifts received.
Aberdeen Future Fund will also support scholarships for students who would otherwise be unable to access higher education as well as those who show excellence in sports and academia.
Craig Parkin, who studies history, said “The comfort of knowing I was able to enjoy myself without worrying about the financial constriction I would have otherwise faced was what made the difference between having a good or average year, and the truly enjoyable and worthwhile year I have experienced.”
As well as supporting academic work, scholarships also support aspiring sportsmen and women. Nick McAndrew was supported by the AFF when he competed in the golf Palmer Cup – the collegiate equivalent of the Ryder Cup.
Nick said “I’d like to thank the University of Aberdeen for their support of both my studies and golf.”
Mark Speed who plays water polo has been supported by a sports bursary throughout his time at University.
He said “With competitions and training held at venues across the United Kingdom, travel and accommodation costs are very high. The financial assistance I receive helps me with these expenses. In a single weekend, I can travel more than 1000 miles (round trip) and play up to three matches.”
The AFF also enhance student life by funding sports clubs and societies and pastoral care services such as Niteline, the confidential student information and advice line.
Many of the telephone callers, who are students themselves, said being part of the fundraising team had enhanced their University experience.
Hollie Murray said: “Being an Aberdeen Future Fund caller was great because I got to speak to a lot of people who could share their own memories of their time at the University of Aberdeen. As my time progressed with AFF, I learned more about the University and what it stands for: providing high quality education and student experience.
“As I learned more and more about past university years, I gained an even stronger respect for the university, its values, and the experiences it provides.”
The total raised in 2011 vastly exceeded last year’s total of £378,000 and since 1998 over £3.3 million has been raised through the fund.
For more information on the fund or to donate, please visit: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/giving/annualfund/