Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Hugh Brady and Director of Development and Alumni Relations, Andrew Monk, reflect on your remarkable generosity over the last year
Thank you for the incredible support you have given to the University of Bristol this year. As you will read in these pages, your generosity has had an immense impact on the global Bristol community, and you are ensuring that our University will continue to realise its ambitions for the future.
That future is built around furthering our world- leading reputation for research and providing an outstanding environment for Bristol students to learn and thrive. The stories in this report demonstrate the ways that Bristol’s alumni and friends are at the heart of those goals. To mention just a couple of examples, the Futures Scholarship and Sanctuary Scholarship programmes that you fund ensure that the brightest students can join and enrich our community, regardless of the difficulties they may have faced on the way. And the Vice-Chancellor’s Fellowships, key early-career research positions that you make possible, give top-flight academic researchers the space to address the major societal challenges we all face today.
The COVID-19 pandemic has, of course, clearly demonstrated the importance of university research around the world. The speed and scale of your response to our COVID-19 appeal – which has helped fund ground-breaking research into the virus, purchase critical laboratory equipment and support students particularly hard-hit by the crisis – was a huge boost to morale here in Bristol, at a time when students and staff were working so hard to adjust to rapidly changing new circumstances.
As we move through this new academic year, the University continues to face significant challenges. Our foremost concern is, of course, the safety of our students and staff – through blended learning, student living circles, and the careful reopening of laboratory and office spaces, we are prioritising the health and wellbeing of our Bristol-based community. We are also keenly aware that tough financial decisions may still await us, as the UK government navigates an unprecedented economic recession.
For all of us here at Bristol, it is a huge source of pride and reassurance to know that our global community of alumni and friends are committed to volunteering time and generously donating to the University. Now, more than ever, we are all hugely grateful for your steadfast support.
Thank you from all of us, and I hope you enjoy reading about the difference you have made.
Professor Hugh Brady
Vice-Chancellor and President
To all our supporters, a very great thank you. It is a testament to our alumni and friends, staff and students, that in a time of great change and uncertainty we are still able to bring you uplifting stories that show just how meaningful your donations of both time and money are to Bristol.
As we reflect on the impact of your support during the last 12 months, we continue to adapt and flex to the challenges of 2020. More than ever the sense of a global Bristol community is evident, and I hope you have seen this across all the personal accounts in this year’s Impact Report.
As COVID-19 has, unfortunately, dominated our lives for the greater part of 2020, it seems fitting that we highlight the incredible work of the UNCOVER group, led by Professor Adam Finn. Seeing how our academic community has drawn together, adapted, and pivoted their research to address this global crisis is truly inspiring. Of course, our research community was both buoyed and enabled by the amazing response of our alumni and friends who – over the course of just a few months – generated over £500,000 towards both our coronavirus research and the student hardship fund for those students most affected by events.
We are delighted to share so many more ways that you have helped: legacy gifts supporting future generations of researchers, such as Olivia Kinsman; volunteers such as India Fallon sharing their experience to provide much needed guidance to those facing a very challenging economic climate. The impact of your continuing commitment to Bristol is evident. Each and every activity that you support with your gifts of time and your donations makes a real difference and our community is strengthened and widened, thanks to you.
I remain inspired and encouraged every day by your fantastic support of Bristol – together we really are changing lives. Thank you.
Executive Director of Development and Alumni Relations