Gillett Given Gown of Guild of Benefactors

Posted on Friday 4th August 2006

Dr Charles Gillett was awarded the highest honour that can be bestowed on a donor to the University of Birmingham this week, when he became the fourth person to be inducted into The Chancellor's Guild of Benefactors.

The award was given in recognition of the Edward Cadbury Charitable Trust's long-standing support of the University over the past 70 years.  Dr Gillett is the Chair of the charitable trust, which was founded by his great-uncle, Dr Edward Cadbury.

The value of support awarded by the Trust to the University throughout its history, has in today's terms exceeded £1million, which qualified Dr Gillett to enter the Guild of Benefactors.

At a small ceremony, Dr Gillett was presented with a specially designed gown and a certificate by Charles's second cousin, the Chancellor, Sir Dominic Cadbury, followed by a celebratory lunch with the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Sterling.

The Guild of Benefactors was established in 2002, as a way of publicly recognising those who have made extraordinary lifetime financial contributions that have transformed the University in some way.  To date, there are four members, Dr Paul and Mrs Yuanbi Ramsay and Dr. Elnora Ferguson on behalf of the Allan & Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust.  The University awarded Dr Gillett an honorary degree in December 2001 in recognition of his long-standing connection to and support of Birmingham.

Nick Blinco, Director of Development and Alumni Relations at the University of Birmingham, said: "The Cadbury family as a whole has been a long-standing supporter of the University, and we're delighted to have the opportunity to mark this through Dr Gillett's induction into the Guild of Benefactors."

He continues: "Gifts by the Edward Cadbury Charitable Trust have included support for the Orchard Learning Resources Centre on the University's Selly Oak campus, the acquisition of the papers of James Rendel Harris, support for the Mingana Collection of Middle-Eastern illuminated manuscripts, a grant to the Centre of Studies for Security and Diplomacy, as well as several donations to the Department of Theology."

The Cadbury family has been closely associated with the Society of Friends of Quakers over the years. Quakers traditionally held strong beliefs and ideals which they carried into 'campaigns for justice, equality and social reform, putting an end to poverty and deprivation'. This family theme continues to this day, with many Cadbury family members still active both within the Edward Cadbury Trust and other charitable organisations. Dr Gillett's son, Charles Gillett jnr, is also a Trustee of the Edward Cadbury Charitable Trust.

ends

Notes to Editors:

Other Guild of Benefactors members:

Paul Ramsay, a Northfield man and former student of the University of Birmingham gave the University's School of Computer Science £1 million in 2003. The gift is financing cutting edge research in computer science and supporting bursaries for students who experience financial hardship.

The Allan and Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust, established by late husband of Elnora Ferguson, has supported the Chair for Interfaith Studies and has established the Centre for the Study of Global Ethics.

Notes to Picture Editors:

Images available on request from Rachel Robson (details below).

Further information:

Rachel Robson - Head of News Team, University of Birmingham

Tel: 0121 414 6681 / mob: 07789 921165 / email: r.a.robson@bham.ac.uk