Since its inception in 2014 the University has honoured the transformative generosity of donors through its College of Benefactors, which recognises and celebrates those who have made exceptional gifts to the University. Induction into the College is the highest honour that the University can bestow upon its donors.
We thank these donors for their exceptional support for the University of Reading and welcome them to the College of Benefactors.
The Elizabeth Creak Charitable Trust
Elizabeth Creak was a remarkable woman. Born in Slough in 1926, she attended McGill University in Canada before working for Penguin Books in both the UK and America. She returned to the UK to work with her uncle, Clyde Higgs, who had built a thriving dairy farm in Warwickshire. Clyde was an innovative and enterprising farmer and he recognised similar ability in Elizabeth, acting as her mentor and later bequeathing her his farming business.
Elizabeth was capable and pioneering, and she brought many creative ideas to the world of farming. She joined the boards of several organisations including the Royal Agricultural Society. She was the first female Chair of the Warwickshire branch of the National Farmers Union and in 1998 she became the first woman to hold the office of High Sheriff of Warwickshire.
Elizabeth passed away in October 2013 and left the bulk of her estate to the Elizabeth Creak Charitable Trust. The Trust has generously supported the University's School of Agriculture, Policy and Development with the Clyde Higgs Scholars bursary programme - which has enabled a number of students from around the world to complete a postgraduate degree - as well as PhD research support and the creation of a Chair in Agricultural Innovation and Extension, all designed to help farmers and farming thrive in today's challenging environment.
The Titcomb Foundation
The Titcomb Foundation was established and endowed in 1987 by Jim Titcomb and his wife Ann, with the principal objective to support initiatives that could make a difference for under-privileged children, medical research and conservation.
In 2016, the Foundation made a gift to the University in Jim Titcomb's memory, funding a study which looked at the feasibility of identifying and providing treatment for depression in adolescents and young people in schools. This support, along with that of other generous donors, has provided funding for Titcomb therapists to deliver the innovative Brief Behavioural Activation programme.
Working with local schools, these therapists have been able to identify and assess young people who are suffering from depression but who have not yet been diagnosed, and offer treatment through Brief Behavioural Activation where appropriate. The treatment aims to help young people improve their mood by reconnecting to the things that are important to them.
Thanks to the generous support of the Titcomb Foundation, therapists have carried out a course of treatment for more than 200 young people suffering from depression. The gift has also enabled the University to establish a programme of outreach and awareness in schools locally, nationally and internationally.