Bristol’s power is people

Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Hugh Brady and Stephen O’Connor, Director of Development and Alumni Relations reflect on the generosity of alumni over the past year and look ahead towards the future.

Professor Hugh Brady, Vice-Chancellor and President

Bristol’s power is people: it’s people who make the research breakthroughs that put us on the world map, it’s talented people who come from all over the world to study with us, and people – like you – who support the University. It’s people like you who make our University so special – your donations, expertise, and involvement are incredibly valuable. This report is just one way of saying thank you, and my opportunity to add my personal thanks to you.

I’ve met with many of you over the course of the year – here in Bristol at our Alumni Association Student Awards Reception, in London at our Pioneers Celebration, and at our alumni receptions in Beijing and Singapore.

That our supporters are found in every corner of the globe should come as no surprise, because Bristol has a global outlook. It’s that international perspective that has inspired us to create a new scholarship programme – Think Big – which will encourage even more bright international students to join us here in Bristol, building an even richer and more diverse community. With thanks to collective donations from alumni and friends, our first scholars will arrive this autumn, and we look forward to sharing their stories with you in future.

In the following pages you’ll read about some of the inspirational people who have been helped by donations like yours – from refugee and asylum seekers supported through the Sanctuary Scholarship programme, to ViceChancellor’s Fellows like Malu Villela Garcia who are forging bridges between Bristol and the wider world through their work. You’ll meet pioneering researchers like Professor Massimo Caputo and outstanding academics like Dr Kirsten Cater – both of whom are able to push the boundaries of knowledge forward because of generous donations like yours.

Our University brings together talented individuals from diverse backgrounds and a wide range of experiences. Here at Bristol – with your support – they can reach further towards their potential, whether that’s pursuing answers to some of the world’s grand challenges or taking up opportunities that previously seemed out of reach.

Thank you for all that you’ve done to support Bristol’s people and in helping to ensure that your alma mater continues to grow and flourish.

Looking ahead

Stephen O’Connor, Director of Development and Alumni Relations 

In this year’s Benefactors’ Report, we reflect on the inspiring contribution that our donors and supporters have made to the University, and to Bristol scholars and academics.

Your gifts are powering our researchers, our academy, our students and our contribution to the city and worldwide. They enable us to have a greater degree of financial independence and freedom that allows Bristol to grow and flourish, keeping our reputation for excellence and innovation to the forefront.

But more than that, your generous gifts are helping to foster Bristol’s long tradition as a place of sanctuary as well as a place of brilliance. Just recently I spoke to an alumnus and scholarship benefactor, whose father had been given refuge in the UK and by the University. Fleeing mainland Europe during World War II, he found a welcome home to study here. We continue to be a place of openness and diversity, which is reflected in our renowned Sanctuary Scholarship programme.

Excellence is central to the Bristol academic experience, and your philanthropic gifts for student support give social currency to those who might otherwise not be able to access it. You can see for yourself in the many stories contained within these pages how you’re very much part of ensuring the continuing quality of the student experience, excellence in research and innovative teaching.

As we look to build on our reputation as a global civic university I sincerely hope that you will continue with us on that journey, allowing many others to access and share the unique Bristol experience. Thank you for your tremendous and continuing support and I look forward to meeting you at the Benefactors’ Reception, or at other events throughout the year ahead.


Thank you for keeping Bristol brilliant. Click here to return to our Benefactor’s report 2017/18.

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