Press Releases

Generosity of Reading Alumni defies credit crunch – University of Reading

Release Date : 26 March 2009

With the relentless news of doom and gloom surrounding the world economy, the University of Reading is proud to announce it has just completed a record breaking telephone fundraising campaign.

At a time when charitable organisations are sadly feeling the pinch The Annual Fund broke all records, raising over £400,000. As always the money will go to important student-focused projects and provide crucial support for current students.

The Annual Fund was established in 2004 and is organised by the University's Development and Alumni Relations Office. In the last five years almost £1.7 million has been pledged in total to enhance the student experience at Reading.

80 current students took part in two telephone campaigns in November, February and March. Over 10,000 alumni were contacted with many choosing to make a gift to the Fund. Both the students and alumni enjoyed the opportunity to share experiences of the University and chat about how it has changed over the last 60 years.

Peter Fletcher, a 2nd year student studying French and a caller in both campaigns said: 'The alumni I spoke to were very happy to talk about their experiences here at Reading, and I got a lot of really useful advice and encouragement from them. There's also an enormous sense of satisfaction from knowing that the work I'm doing is making a huge difference to the lives of students here at the University."

Andy Wood, Director of Development and Alumni Relations at the University said: "Given the current economic climate, the generosity shown by our alumni towards the Annual Fund is overwhelming. This demonstrates both the value our alumni attach to their own experience at the University, and the immediate, positive impact that the projects funded through their gifts has on current and future generations of students. The £400,000 that will come in over the next five years will offer our students a multitude of opportunities with which to broaden their experience at Reading. My sincere thanks to all those that made a gift during the campaign, and to our student callers who were superb ambassadors for the University.'

Alumni who were from as early as the 1940's, to those who graduated three years ago, received a call and were encouraged to hear what a tremendous difference donations have made and how the University has developed over the years. Projects funded by donations vary from the Pro-Bono initiative in the Law School, to Bursaries and Scholarships. Many are also of benefit to the Reading community, including prizes for students who help people in the local area, to bursaries for students participating in the AimHigher programme in Berkshire Schools.

For further information on the Annual Fund please contact Becki Mckinlay: or tel. 0118 378 5238


For more information please contact James Barr, Press Officer, University of Reading, on 0118 378 7115 or by email on


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