University supporters set to change the world with achievement of £60 million fundraising target

Posted on Friday 9th December 2011

The University of Birmingham’s Circles of influence fundraising campaign has reached and surpassed its £60m fundraising goal - the largest target ever achieved by a Midlands university.

Launched in 2009, the University set an ambitious target to raise £60m to support the research into critical issues that affect us all, to open the University to talented students regardless of their financial circumstances, and to develop the University's beautiful campus to provide world-class facilities for our students, staff, and the people of Birmingham. Thanks to the generosity of alumni and friends, this target has now been exceeded.

Dr Doug Ellis, generous supporter of the University comments:

'I owe my life to cancer research at the University and I was pleased to offer my support to the Circles of influence Campaign. Funding cancer equipment has helped in their battle against this devastating disease. My support of the amazing Bramall Music Building will give our city another world-class concert venue. My gift to the refurbishment of the Learning Hub at the Medical School will support the education of future generations of Medical students. I am delighted to be able to play such an active part.'

University of Birmingham Vice-Chancellor and donor to Circles of influence, Professor David Eastwood explains:

“Thanks a combination of our investments and the overwhelming generosity of our alumni and friends around the world, we are delighted to have exceeded our £60m target for the first phase of the Circles of influence campaign, much faster than anticipated thanks to the extraordinary generosity of our supporters from both near and far. We have had a remarkable level of support which has had a tremendous impact on our research, our students, and our campus. Together we will make strategic investments that will enable outstanding people to do outstanding things.”

Sir Dominic Cadbury, University Chancellor, Campaign President and donor adds:

“The first phase of our Circles of influence campaign has re-laid the foundations of philanthropy at Birmingham. More than a century after our founding, we have, once more, successfully combined individual generosity with the financial power of the University to achieve extraordinary results.

“Together we have had a remarkable impact. We have developed sector-leading widening participation initiatives which have enabled over 250 exceptional but disadvantaged students to succeed at university. We have improved breast cancer survival rates by 30 per cent. We have carried out pioneering research in sustainable, clean fuel technologies.

All of this and so much more, has been achieved much faster than anticipated; it has been a remarkable achievement. Our alumni and friends have made this possible and we thank them deeply.”

Encouraged by the extraordinary generosity of former students, foundations and local people, the University has now launched the second phase of the Circles of influence campaign which will enable outstanding people to do outstanding things in the following four areas:

 Leaders of tomorrow: the University is launching a global search to attract outstanding researchers, a series of flagship internships to enhance student employability, and ensuring that the best and brightest students are able to access high education regardless of their financial circumstances

 Developing a world-class campus: the University is planning the most ambitious new library in UK higher education, the development of the Lapworth Museum, the Barber Institute, and a new Sports Centre to house the region’s first 50m swimming pool

 Health and lifestyle: the University is pioneering the early diagnosis and effective treatment of cancer, fighting to rid humanity of infectious diseases, battling autism, and transforming the rehabilitation of injured troops, stroke and brain injury patients

 Global challenges: supporting the reinvigoration of British industry, the University will ensure that we continue to make a difference to energy security and environmental sustainability and ensure that an increasing global population has enough food

Professor Eastwood explains:

“The second phase of Circles of influence is about enabling our researchers to make crucial breakthroughs, enabling disadvantaged students to get the education they deserve, enabling people from all over the world to survive once-deadly diseases and developing our campus to provide world-class facilities for our students, staff, and the people of Birmingham. Our investment, combined with the generosity of our donors, will have far-reaching and long-lasting impacts. We continue to seek philanthropic support to join with our own investment to make possible the critical initiatives that can change the world.”

For more information and to find out how you can donate to the Circles of influence campaign, please contact Nick Blinco on 0121 414 6953.

Notes to Editors

For media enquiries, please contact Amy Cory, University of Birmingham Press Office, via 0121 414 6029 or a.cory@bham.ac.uk.