Press Releases

New society recognises University bequests – University of Reading

Release Date : 09 December 2009

The University of Reading has established a new society to recognise those who generously agree to make a gift to the University in their will.


The Palmer Society takes its name from the local Palmer family, of the famous biscuit manufacturer Huntley & Palmers. The family made several significant donations and bequests in the years leading up to the University receiving its Royal Charter in 1926, and remain closely involved with the University. There has been a member of the family represented on the University Council since 1926.


Mr Andrew Palmer is patron of the new society as well as a member of the Development Board, the Museum of English Rural Life Committee and Chairman of the Friends. Mr Howard Palmer QC is currently a Member of Council.


The Palmer Society was formally launched on 6 December hosted by Professor Tony Downes, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor.


Members of the Palmer Society are key to the future of the University. They help to ensure that the University will continue to hold a leading position, both in the UK and internationally, in the provision of excellent teaching to the brightest students, and the ability to increase knowledge and understanding through research.


Please contact the Development Office, if you would like further information.



Notes to editor


University of Reading

The University of Reading is rated as one of the top 200 universities in the world (THE-QS World Rankings 2009).


  • The University of Reading is one of the UK’s top research-intensive universities. The University is ranked in the top 20 UK higher education institutions in securing research council grants worth nearly £10 million from EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC, AHRC and BBSRC. In the RAE 2008, over 87% of the university’s research was deemed to be of international standing. Areas of particular research strength recognised include meteorology and climate change, typography and graphic design, archaeology, philosophy, food biosciences, construction management, real estate and planning, as well as law.


  • Standards of teaching are excellent - the University scored highly in the National Student Survey 2009.  87% of Reading students responding to the survey stated they were satisfied with the quality of their course.


  • The University is estimated to contribute £600 million to the local economy annually.


·        University of Reading is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.


·        More information at


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