Success of the Tercentenary Campaign

8 March 2019

The Provost and Fellows of Worcester College are delighted to announce the extraordinary success of the Tercentenary Campaign, launched in 2014 with the aim of raising £100 million. Under the leadership of the Provost, Professor Sir Jonathan Bate, this ambitious target has been reached within five years, rather than the projected ten. This success would not have been possible without the magnificent generosity of our donors, and the huge support and good will of all Old Members.

The achievements of the campaign have enhanced all aspects of the College’s educational mission. We hoped to permanently endow ten Tutorial Fellowships; in fact we have been able to endow thirteen, as well as a further three Senior Research Fellowships, and a programme of Visiting Fellowships. Beside these posts, we have in addition a new research fund specifically for Fellows and Lecturers in the mathematical sciences and computing science.

Completed capital projects have included the beautiful, award-winning Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre; the renovation of our medieval kitchens; the restoration of the Hall, which is the last surviving Georgian hall in Oxford; the creation of a dedicated College Archive, and much-needed funding for the maintenance and enhancement of our historic buildings, gardens and grounds. We currently have two further exciting projects, both in the early planning stages, to add to these achievements: the restoration and expansion of the Beaumont Street site, across the road from the College’s main buildings; and a benefaction for the building of a bridge across the lake, which will be a beautiful addition to Worcester’s landscape and improve access to the Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre.

On the student and teaching side, funds have been raised to support numerous graduate scholarships – including the prestigious international visiting programme of Provost’s Scholars from Australia and New Zealand – as well as raising growing funds for undergraduate bursaries and hardship support. More recently, we have focused on the enhancement of our Outreach and Access programme, beginning new flagship schemes in regions with historically little involvement in higher education.

The legacy element of the campaign constituted a target of £40 million: we have reached and exceeded this target, with legacy pledges now standing at £42 million. The College has relied on such generosity throughout its history: it was the Will of Sir Thomas Cookes of Worcester, made in 1697, which enabled the foundation of Worcester College in 1714. More than three hundred years later, we are glad to be fulfilling our first benefactor’s wishes, as we look with optimism to the next decades and centuries.

Times are changing, and we will need to protect our endowment and invest it carefully. We will also be moving our attention to the Annual Giving Programme to encourage greater participation from all Old Members. While we will continue to raise funds for the maintenance of our historic buildings, gardens and grounds, our greatest efforts will now be directed at student bursaries, student welfare provision, and education access and outreach.

All donors will be thanked individually and invited to events celebrating our shared success. First and foremost our thanks must go to the Campaign Presidents, The Rt Hon Lord Sainsbury of Preston Candover KG (1948), and the Rt Hon Sir Timothy Sainsbury (1953); and to the Chairs of our Campaign Committees: Mr Edward Wray (1987) Chairman UK; Senator Bill Bradley (1965) Hon Chair and Mr Barrie Wigmore (1964) Chairman US; and our two lead donors in the Asia-Pacific: HRH Sultan Nazrin Shah of Perak Malaysia (1976) and Ben Delo (2002) Hong Kong.