Remember Birmingham

Leaving a gift in your will provides a lasting impact to the University. Here are some examples of how individuals have helped push forward crucial research at Birmingham.

Denis Dodd - Cancer Research

Denis-Dodd PhotoUniversity Councillor Denis Dodd spent nine years volunteering for the University of Birmingham, first as Deputy Treasurer and then as Deputy Pro-Chancellor. He also received an honorary degree, and was made a life member of Court. Denis was a keen supporter of the University during his lifetime, both as a volunteer and a donor, and after he passed away the trustees of his estate chose to make a further gift from his will. This legacy, directed towards cancer research, enabled us to study how the microenvironment of bone marrow can regulate the growth of multiple myeloma (a cancer of the blood). 

Sarah-EssexThis generous gift enabled us to collaborate with other groups to expand our multiple myeloma research into new areas. We were also able to present at an international myeloma conference in Japan, where our work was recognised with an early career investigators’ award" - Dr Sarah Essex, Research Fellow in Cancer Sciences

Audrey Brown - A Library for the Future

Audrey-Brown-PhotoAfter completing her Geography degree at Birmingham in 1946, Audrey Brown worked as a school teacher. A passionate believer in education, she wanted to encourage the next generation of students at Birmingham. Her generous legacy will help us build an outstanding new Library facility that will benefit thousands of students from disciplines across the whole University. Providing better access to our extensive collection and more flexible study spaces, the new Library (due to open in 2016) will support research and education at the University for years to come.                                                                                                 

Ian Bloodworth – Student Support

Ian-Bloodworth-PhotoDr Ian Bloodworth graduated from Birmingham in 1963 with a first class BSc in Physics. After receiving his PhD from Oxford, Dr Bloodworth returned to Birmingham as a staff member and worked here until 2003. Whilst working for the University at CERN in Geneva, Dr Bloodworth saw first-hand the value of developing the physicists of the future. He wanted to encourage students to achieve outstanding results during their time at Birmingham, so he left a gift in his will to fund a prize for high performing students. The Ian Bloodworth Prize, established in 2012, awards £500 each year to a student who has achieved outstanding results in their field.

Anjalika-Nande“I have greatly appreciated the support of the prize, both financially and emotionally. Hard work is essential to strive for excellence, and awards like this provide that added encouragement to follow, and hopefully achieve, our dreams.” - Anjalika Nande, 4th Year MSci Theoetical Physics and Applied Mathematics and Ian Bloodworth Prize recipient.

Norman Painting - Healthy Ageing

The University’s Special Collections benefitted greatly when actor and writer Norman Painting, best known for his role as Phil Archer in popular radio soap The Archers, chose to leave his personal archives to Birmingham. Norman, who graduated with a degree in English in 1946, left most of his estate to causes benefitting the elderly, and research into healthy aging at the University of Birmingham was one of the projects that received this generous funding. Norman’s gift has enabled hundreds of older people to attend Agewell conferences run by Professor Janet Lord. The conference features interactive sessions focussed on healthy ageing, such as exercise classes designed for older adults, advice on dental care, laughter yoga, and ultrasound scans to assess how well joints are ageing.

"Donations such as Norman’s mean we can keep the conferences free for attendees and at the 6th Agewell conference in September 2015 we welcomed 200 people. It is wonderful that we can provide the platform for engagement between the older population and those in charge of developing health care, we’re very grateful to Norman for his support." - Professor Janet Lord, Head of School of Immunity & Infection

Lois Garrett - A Special Gift for Special Collections

Lois Garratt img1When Lois Garratt (far right) attended her cousin Nigel’s graduation in 1961, she probably never imagined that 50 years later students and researchers at Birmingham would study in a room bearing her name. Lois, who apart from Nigel had no other connection to the University, chose to leave one third of her estate to support our work.  This unexpected but delightful gift came at a time when the University needed to invest in a tailor-made facility to house our Special Collections. Special Collections is the home to the most precious of the University's four million items – including an early folio of the Canterbury Tales and possibly the oldest fragment of the Qur’an in the world. Lois’s gift created a special reading room so that students and researchers can access delicate items and study them safely. 

You can have a lasting impact by joining alumni and friends like Denis, Audrey, Ian, Norman, and Lois and remembering Birmingham with a gift in your will. Please feel free to contact Thomas Kay, Legacy and Endowment Manager, on +44(0) 121 414 9161 or email if you would like more information.