Rhodes Trust receives landmark £75 million donation


The McCall MacBain Foundation, a grant-making organisation, announced its decision to donate £75 million to the Trust on Thursday. The money will be used to further the expansion of the Rhodes Trust, whose scholarship programme is considered to be the most prestigious international graduate scholarship programme in the world.

The donation will consist of a £25 million grant, a £25 million challenge and match donation to encourage additional fundraising and a further £25 million to be used for the expansion of the graduate programme into new geographies.

Since it was founded in 1903, the Rhodes Trust has provided scholarships for nearly 8,000 young leaders from around the world, making it possible for them to come and study at the University of Oxford. Scholarship holders include Bill Clinton, six Commonwealth Prime Ministers and three Nobel prize winners.

Speaking to Rhodes Scholars at the 110th anniversary of the founding of the Rhodes Trust, John McCall MacBain – the founder of the McCall MacBain Foundation – said, “Receiving the Rhodes Scholarship and attending Oxford were among the highlights of my life.

“These Scholarships have been helping develop future leaders for over a century. With the world facing ever-increasing challenges, the need to help develop leadership skills is more important than ever. I hope that this gift will help secure them for another hundred years.”

In recognition of the donation, John McCall MacBain will be named a Second Century Founder of the Rhodes Trust and the Rhodes Scholarships. The Chairman of the Trust, John Hood, said, “We are deeply grateful to John, Marcy and the McCall MacBain Foundation for their determined leadership in this new capital campaign to build the endowment for the Rhodes Trust.

“The Rhodes Scholarships work to inspire future generations of young leaders, which does not only have a profound impact on those individual lives, but also on their communities and the wider world.”

His opinion was shared by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, Andrew Hamilton, who stated, “For over a century, the Rhodes Trust has played an integral part in the life of the University. Indeed, it is hard to imagine the one existing without the other. I am absolutely delighted that the McCall MacBain Foundation has taken this step to ensure the future health of the Rhodes Trust with its magnificent donation.”

Prime Minister David Cameron, an Oxford graduate, also welcomed the donation. He said, “It is great news for the UK and our world class, higher education system that such a prestigious programme looks set to be secured for the long term.”


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