Medical School Foyer and Barnes Library Opening Reception - 5 March 2012

Alumni, donors, staff and students attended the opening of the new Medical School Foyer and Barnes Library on Monday 5 March. Current students provided tours to show alumni and donors the transformational impact their support has had on the new facilities.

More than 80 people were present to see lead donor Sir Doug Ellis OBE (DUniv Honorary Degree, 2008) formally open the new space, which has transformed the ground floor of the building for the benefit of medical students for years to come.

Sir Doug said: “I have been involved in many charitable projects over the years, but the University of Birmingham has a special place in my heart. In fact, I owe my life to the research and the staff here. Along with all the others who gave, I am delighted to be able financially to support this wonderful project.” 

The £2million project, of which £516,000 was donated by alumni and friends, has brought the original 1939 design of the Medical School building into the 21st Century.

Thanks to the generosity of the project’s donors, the ground floor of the Barnes Library has now been transformed into an innovative hub for all student services, with dedicated student welfare support services and confidential meeting rooms. The University has named this space the “Doug Ellis Learning Hub” in honour of Sir Doug’s generous support. In addition there are flexible study areas with WiFi access, and space for informal and formal student group working, including the latest IT and audiovisual facilities.

Sir Doug and his contribution to the Birmingham Medical School were featured in the Birmingham Mail.  You can read the article here.

You can also view footage of the original 1934 ground breaking event for the Medical School here

To find out more about supporting medical education at the University please contact Laura Fairbanks, Deputy Head of Regular Giving, on + 44 (0)121 414 8894 or at