press release
Published: 22 November 2022

The University of Surrey receives £10 million largest-ever philanthropic gift

The University of Surrey has received a significant legacy gift of £10 million in support of its renowned School of Veterinary Medicine. As a significant contribution to the recently launched The Future Says Surrey £60m fundraising campaign, it is the largest single gift in the University’s history.

Professor Max Lu, President and Vice-Chancellor, said:

“We launched this campaign to enhance the positive impact the University has on society, through supporting our talented students and inspirational researchers in people-centred AI, sustainability, and one health-one medicine. With support such as this from alumni and donors, Surrey as a leading global institution will further its mission to help shape a better world.”

Anonymous donor

The anonymous donor made the £10 million legacy gift after learning of some of the ground-breaking research and techniques being trialled at the School of Veterinary Medicine. Projects with the welfare of animals at their heart are a priority for the donor and will benefit from the donation. An example of existing research at Surrey includes work to reduce pain and suffering in dogs caused by selective breeding that makes unnatural head-shapes more common in some breeds.

Ground-breaking cancer research

Finding more accessible, accurate and quicker treatments for cancer in animals is one area that could be unlocked by this donation.

“Sadly, more than 50% of dogs over 10 years and almost a third of cats develop cancer,” adds Professor Nick Bacon, Professor of Surgical Oncology at the University and Clinical Director at AURA Veterinary on the University’s Surrey Research Park. “Improving our understanding in terms of early diagnosis, patient-centred treatments and innovations in compassionate care are so important for animal welfare and our society as a whole. Little separates animal and human cancers. This generous gift will advance veterinary science and animal wellbeing and forge stronger human-animal bonds.”

Benefiting students

Some of the gift is expected to support scholarship schemes for students. These schemes will allow the very best veterinary medicine students to study at Surrey, irrespective of their financial circumstances.

Professor Paul Townsend, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, commented:

“We are immensely grateful for this incredible gift. A donation of this magnitude is game-changing and promises to make a huge difference. We will ensure that this generous bequest funds work closest to the donor’s heart.”

Make a difference with your legacy


Notes to Editors

The University of Surrey has the newest School of Veterinary Medicine in the country. It was officially opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2015. The School is ranked third in the UK and prides itself on educating confident and compassionate veterinarians committed to animal welfare using innovative educational facilities and techniques. Professor Noel Fitzpatrick, Channel 4’s Supervet, is one of the founding partners and maintains a close connection.

Find out more about the Future Says Surrey campaign.

View more information on legacy giving.