For Univ, by Univ: A name for posterity
The transformational Univ North development has been some 10 years in the making. Though there is still a long way to go, the College is looking forward to its completion and to the opportunities on the site to recognise the generous benefactions and benefactors that have made this ground-breaking project at all possible.
Over the past 12 months, plans for the overall site and its facilities, including the café-restaurant, the gym, the nursery, and the kitchens, have been finalised. The past year has also seen the Univ community come together in great support of the project. All the while, in the background, the architects have been working in tandem with a team of Old Members and Development Office staff, making sure that Univ North recognises those who have offered support directly to this development.
Undeterred by the limitations on meeting and planning imposed by the ongoing pandemic, the working group and the architects have put together a plan of action and have designed numerous different recognition features that will be seen in Univ North. These include, but are not limited to, the naming of buildings, signs marking out gardens and lawns for donors, and the naming of student bedrooms.
The complexity of the project, and the vast array of new features being constructed on this site, mean that there is a broad range of opportunities for donor recognition. Many of those items can be found listed on the Univ North page. So far, preliminary drawings from the architects have been sketched out for naming recognition on student bedrooms, and for a community recognition feature which will celebrate all those who give over £2,000 to the project*.
The community recognition feature has been a particularly important point of discussion. How can we recognise the great support of the community; how can this be impactful; how can this be in keeping with the subtle design elements of the site?
A working group of Old Members has selected to display the names of all those donors who have given over £2,000 to Univ North* in the new Porters’ Lodge. To date, we are delighted that over 150 Old Members and friends have chosen to give at this level and will be listed for posterity. This is the most common entry-point to the site – a place where many people will pass through on a daily basis, and will see the names of those who supported the creation of Univ North. It was paramount to the working group that the sense of community be immediately clear to anyone coming to the site. As coined by working group member Caroline Marriage (1991, English), this site should be remembered as “Univ by Univ”.
Donors to the project giving over £25,000 have been offered the option to name a student bedroom, either naming it after themselves or after someone else whom they wish to honour. While this is fairly common, not least in the Oxford collegiate community, the architects and working party wish to ensure that these recognition-pieces are design-focused. As such, the names on the doors will be unassuming and subtle. In keeping with the rest of the site, it has been suggested that any recognition on bedrooms should use CLT (cross-laminated timber), which is not only sleek and stylish, but also features throughout the site.
Conversations and plans will continue and, whilst we are keen to lay firm plans as soon as possible, we are always open to discussion with Old Members and friends of the College. If you have any questions about donor recognition or supporting Univ North, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Gifts can be given over five years, and can include Gift Aid. Young Univ donors (under 35) will also have their gifts matched 100%.
Published: 24 November 2020