Oxford's oldest student newspaper

Independent since 1920

St Anne’s receives largest life time donation ever

St Anne’s College has received its largest ever life time donation (not a legacy) of £1.5 million to provide financial support and career opportunities for students from low-income backgrounds.

The gift, made by Mike and Helen Danson, will fund between 30 and 45 undergraduate bursaries starting this month. In line with the University’s eligibility criteria, full bursaries will be on offer to students with household incomes of under £16k.

In addition, all undergraduates of the College receiving the bursary will be able to take part in the Danson Mentoring Scheme. Under this scheme, at least 3 students per year will complete up to 5 weeks of paid internships during the holidays before their final year.

Tim Gardam, Principal of St Anne’s said: “Mike and Helen’s benefaction is a magnificent statement of support for all that St Anne’s stands for – our commitment to give opportunities to talented students whom Oxford otherwise might overlook.”

“It is a wonderful example of the generosity on which St Anne’s now depends as Government funding falls. The mentoring programme will give students an unprecedented chance to prepare for the world beyond Oxford,” he added.

A spokesperson for the college, pointed to the timely nature of the donation, “with students preparing to bear the cost of £9,000 tuition fees, this donation will underpin Oxford and St Anne’s undertaking that all students with the ability to succeed should have the opportunity to do so, regardless of background.”

Hannah Smith, a second year from St Anne’s College expressed her delight at the news: “The donation was an incredible surprise! It was really exciting to think about the success of alumni: we all really pride ourselves on how friendly our college is and this generous donation just goes to show that it’s an ethic deep-rooted in Anne’s culture.’

‘It’s great that it can go towards helping students from all kinds of backgrounds become part of such a lively and enjoyable environment.”

45% of Oxford University’s philanthropic income is donated to specific colleges. This gift is the most generous life time donation St Anne’s has received. Donations to the university nearly tripled between 2009 and 2011.

“Oxford Thinking: The Campaign for the University of Oxford” which encompasses gifts made to the university and to colleges passed the £1 billion milestone in 2010.

By July 2011 it had reached 92% of its stated minimum target of £1.25 billion.

Mike Danson read law at St Anne’s in 1982 and made his 200 million pound fortune according to the FT when he sold his information business Datamonitor in 2007. He currently owns New Statesman and is chairman of Progressive Digital Media Group.

Check out our other content

Most Popular Articles