Lesley Silvester, University of Bristol Foundation Chair based in the US, highlights the significant role the US Alumni play in funding key initiatives and programmes including the Sanctuary Scholarships.
Each month we see more concrete examples of initiatives and programmes that realise the ambitious strategies committed to within the last five years. The alumni in the US are playing an increasingly significant role in the philanthropic funding of such initiatives channelled through the US Foundation.
For example, at our Foundation meeting in March, it was reported that the US is contributing one-third of the total philanthropic giving towards the Sanctuary Scholarships. These are scholarships provided to refugee and asylum-seeking students in the UK. Another example is the $75,000 we have contributed to the Bristol Futures Scholarships. You may recall the moving video that was recently distributed featuring a student who is a very grateful recipient of such a scholarship and which has given her the means to fully participate in all the University has to offer. These scholarships, as you know, are a key component in facilitating wider participation in the University.
Further, there is evidence that US alumni have a greater propensity to give than those in the UK – perhaps this comes from exposure to the culture in the US of supporting one’s alma mater, perhaps it is a matter of greater valuing at a distance what Bristol provided? We hope it is evidence of the US alumni community continuing to gather strength.
For those of you that have contributed, the US Foundation Board thanks you! For those alumni still considering such gifts, we hope you will be motivated by the inspiring developments afoot at Bristol.