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Young Univ Challenge update

Young Univ Challenge Update

Fabienne Morris (2004, Music)

Following the “quiet phase” of the College’s Univ North development, at the beginning of the 2021/22 academic year, the College entered the “public phase” and appealed to all Old Members for support for this once-in-300-year endeavour. The response by the Univ Community has been tremendous.

Our Young Univites rose to the challenge of Old Members Annie Tse and Terence Tsang, who pledged £250,000 if our Young Univ cohort (alumni aged 35 and under) could raise a similar amount.

“Univ means a lot to both of us. The development in North Oxford is a great project to be embarking on and we are incredibly excited by it. We wanted to make a longer-lasting impact with our giving and have supported this project with the Young Univ Matched Giving Scheme. Our aim with our gift was to inspire the young alumni community to get involved with supporting the College and to show their appreciation. It’s fantastic news that the young alumni community have come together to give over £235,000 towards the project.”

Annie Tse (1984, Law) and Terence Tsang (1983, Engineering)

Minesh Shah (2004, Physics), former Chair of the Young Univ Committee, proposed that if this challenge could be achieved, the Lodge should be called the “Young Univ Lodge” to mark the achievement. The new Lodge will house the donor roll of honour for all supporters who have donated over £2,000 over five years to the development (over 300 names are now due to be included on this list). A component of the match is that Young Univ donors need only donate £1,000 (or £13.34 a month) to be acknowledged on this wall along with their peers.

The new Chair, Hugh Moorhead (2012, Classics), has taken on the challenge initiated by Minesh and commented: “It has been inspiring to see the whole Univ community come together to fundraise for Univ North.  Young Univ has collaborated to fund the new Porters’ Lodge at the Univ North site – we hope that as a consequence this will raise awareness of “Young Univ” for all those who pass in and out of it, and what the programme seeks to offer recently graduated alumni.  It will be very exciting to see both the project’s fruition and the doubtless transformative effect that it will have for the college.”

During the recent July telephone campaign, students spoke to hundreds of young alumni, asking if they would take Young Univ closer to their £250,000 target.

With such strong support for Univ North from Young Univ, a second challenge was raised by the College: for every 15 donors (giving any amount) in a year group, a student room at the new North Oxford development would be forever known by their respective year.

The response to the campaign was incredibly positive, with a staggering 97 Young Univ donors participating with both one-off gifts and others setting up direct debits. Two year groups (matric years 2008 and 2014) have almost reached the student room challenge target with 12 and 10 donors respectively.

“There are many reasons I decided to donate to Univ North. Univ occupies a very special place in my heart – it was the birthplace of magical friendships, a time when I intellectually stretched myself to the full, and a historic institution that somehow felt like one big ordinary family. This is the tiniest way of saying thank you.” 

Fabienne Morris (2004, Music)

Young Univ Giving to Univ North by Matriculation Year

Thanks to the generosity of our Young Univ community we have raised more than £235,000 towards the Univ North project. None of this would have been possible without the support of so many of our alumni. If you have not had a chance to make a gift yet, please do consider: any amount counts toward your year total, and will help us edge closer to the £15,000 required to unlock the match and name the Young Univ Lodge.

Thank you very much for your support and for those who took the time to talk to our students. 

Read more about Univ’s vision for a second community on our Univ North page.

Published: 24 August 2021

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