Published: 15 February 2017

Just imagine the talent you could nurture

Graduate Sophie Gwilliam is living proof of the lasting value of a scholarship. She was the first recipient of the Jim O’Neill Scholarship awarded to an economics undergraduate from a low-income background and has now embarked on a career with a global financial services provider.

Scholarship students talking and smiling

“Being given the scholarship gave me the confidence to aim high, both at University and in my career,” she says. “I believe I have been able to fulfil my potential.”

We can help many more students like Sophie, giving them life-changing opportunities through the Chancellor’s 50th Anniversary Appeal. Launched in our golden anniversary year, it offers you the chance to make a real difference to future generations of students and help continue our pioneering research. Research that is tackling some of the most pressing issues of our time: providing safe drinking water for billions of people across the world; technology to improve the care of people with dementia; and discovering new treatments for human and animal cancer.

Donations from alumni are a critical part of a University’s funding and will become increasingly so in the future. We don’t want philanthropy to support the running costs of the University but to help us to grow and to enhance our activities and in ways that would not otherwise be possible. But we can’t do this without your help.

The University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Max Lu, said: “We hope that our alumni and friends will consider taking part and making a gift to the University. As a donor, your gifts will have a transformational impact and support the dynamic, pioneering spirit of Surrey.”

A sprit embodied by international kayaker and mechanical engineering graduate Jonny Tye, who is aiming to go for gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He said: “I graduated from Surrey with a First Class Honours degree and I won two World Championship medals along the way; my scholarship made this possible.

We look forward to your involvement and support as we embark on our next 50 years, supporting and inspiring future generations of students. Find out more about our appeal and make a gift.

Did you know?

  • In 1996, the University developed a rapid blood test for meningitis that has halved the adult mortality rate for the disease.
  • Last year, we funded £75,000 worth of hardship grants for students struggling financially through no fault of their own
  • Surrey is at the heart of the 5G revolution, building the next wave of technology that will see breakthroughs in everything from driverless cars to smart homes.
  • The University of Surrey’s Space Centre is developing litter-picking technology to remove the 7,000 tonnes of space junk floating in the atmosphere.


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