Circle of support
The Principal hosted afternoon tea at his residence to thank members of the Carlyle Circle for their commitment to the University.
Knowing that their gifts can make a big difference, alumni and other benefactors are choosing to support the University with legacy gifts in increasing numbers. Everyone who makes a personal pledge in their will is invited to join the Carlyle Circle, a group of more than 1,300 people united by a shared interest in the work of the University.
Membership of the Carlyle Circle is marked by special events and receptions. In February, the Principal, Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, and Lady O’Shea welcomed 30 Carlyle Circle members to an afternoon tea at the Principal’s Regent Terrace home. Designed by an alumnus of the University and an architect of Old and New College, William Henry Playfair, the Principal’s official residence provided a perfect setting for a toast to the future.
The Principal expressed his thanks to all those who have made a commitment to support the University through a gift in their will. He then talked guests through the history of the residence and its artwork collection, the majority of which has been donated by friends and alumni of the University.
The informal and friendly atmosphere of the event was extremely well received by the members.
We really enjoyed the informal and homely atmosphere at the event. It was a privilege to be there and we felt part of the University family.
As it was a comparatively small gathering, we liked the intimacy of it all. It was conducive to relaxed and wide-ranging conversations.
Showcasing young talents
A highlight of the event was a performance by two young Edinburgh talents, pianist Ailsa Aitkenhead and mezzo-soprano Sarah Gross.
Ailsa graduated with distinction from the Masters in Piano Accompaniment course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and has recently finished a year-long placement at the University of Edinburgh. She has performed at venues including the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Clyde Auditorium and Queen's Hall and King's Theatre in Edinburgh.
Sarah is in the fourth year of her music degree at the University of Edinburgh. Her choral experience includes performing as a member of the National Youth Choir of Scotland and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra Chorus. Last year she was awarded an Innovation Initiative Grant, funded entirely through donations and legacy gifts to the Edinburgh Fund. The grant enabled her to run a successful student workshop and a performance focused on Modal Music of the Middle East.
Pledging to excellence
Some pledgers leave unrestricted legacies which crucially help the University build on its world-class standing, while others wish to recognise the University’s research or want gifted students to be able to fulfil their potential and make a positive contribution to the society, regardless of their financial background.
We just wish to say a thank you to the University of Edinburgh for the financial support which I was given when I was most in need. Without this support it would have been impossible for me to remain in Britain, continue to study at Edinburgh University and subsequently settle in Scotland and marry my wife Margaret. May somebody else in similar need benefit from this legacy.
All legacy gifts are an important contribution to student life and the work of the University, and it is thanks to the members of the Carlyle Circle, and others like them, that it continues to be the centre of excellence in teaching, student experience and research.
If you are considering leaving a gift to the University in your will, or have any questions at all, please contact Morag Murison, Development Manager for Legacies.
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