Last month, the Chancellor welcomed 120 graduates and their partners to a special reception at the Palace of Holyroodhouse to celebrate their long term commitment to the University.
University Principal, Professor Sir Timothy O'Shea joined HRH The Princess Royal in recognising long-term commitment to supporting students and research at Edinburgh.
During the evening, stories of the impact of their donations were shared, including reports on innovative projects made possible and the freedom unlocked through bursaries.
When Alexander Cameron (1961 MA German, 1966 MA French) recalls his time at Edinburgh, he conjures up good memories of the Hare and Hounds running club, in which he made lifelong friends.
Using the language skills he honed at Edinburgh and during his exchange years abroad, Mr Cameron went on to build a long career in teaching. The happy memories of his university days and the strength of the relationships built during that time encouraged him to contribute to furthering the student experience through the Edinburgh Fund.
Furthermore, having received a grant from the Carnegie Trust, which allowed him to study French as a second degree to broaden his teaching options, he also gives to the Principal’s Bursary Fund to support access to education for those in financial need.
Whilst serving in the USA from 1979 to 1981, Lt-Colonel Jack Wishart (1960 BSc Chemistry) was struck by how well funded many universities over there were, all of which were younger that the four oldest universities in Scotland. Shortly after he and his wife returned to the UK, Edinburgh began its programme of encouraging philanthropic support from alumni.
Feeling that his adult life has been shaped to a very great degree by his university education, Lt-Colonel Wishart willingly signed up to give monthly donations and has continued to this day.
Knowing how the university uses the sums it raises to help today's undergraduates financially, I am hopeful that our alumni will prove to be similarly mindful of their successors and do as I did.
As the first person in her family to go to university, Dr Mary Sinclair (1964 BDS, 1994 MSc Social and Public Policy) believes her experience at Edinburgh truly changed the course of her life, and subsequently, the lives of her children who are both graduates.
The positive impressions that she gained from this period inspired her to start her decades long commitment of giving back and she has donated monthly to Edinburgh Fund since.
The financial support given to students by the University may be the difference between success and failure for many of them. I am grateful to be part of that invaluable support, even in a modest way.
The Edinburgh Fund supports projects and areas that most directly affect student life at the University.
It supports talented students through scholarships and bursaries, helps build and enhance student facilities, and enables research initiatives and community projects through Innovation Initiative Grants.
Donate to the Edinburgh Fund
Support the Principal’s Bursary Fund
Student or staff member? Apply for an alumni-funded Innovation Initiative Grant