Exeter Excelling fundraising campaign reaches £46 million

Fri, 10/03/2017

The Rector and Fellows of Exeter College are delighted to announce that over £46 million has been raised from alumni and friends of the College over the last 10 years to support current and future generations of students, with recent pledges set to take that figure to over £50 million. These gifts, which have been received as part of the College's Exeter Excelling fundraising campaign to mark the College’s 700th anniversary, secure generous financial aid for students, provide essential funding for teaching posts, particularly in English, History, Politics, Law and Philosophy, and have led to the creation of an additional large site, Cohen Quadrangle, on Walton Street.

Launched in 2006 under the leadership of Rector Dame Frances Cairncross, the campaign aimed to raise £45m over 10 years – a sum which was, at the time, more than the value of the College’s endowment. The purpose of the Exeter Excelling campaign was to secure the College’s provision of world class education and financial support for students as it entered its eighth century in 2014. 4,662 alumni, parents, friends, fellows, staff, and even current students, have contributed to the campaign, which represents a 62% giving rate among alumni – one of the highest levels of giving towards an educational institution outside of the USA. In recognition that every gift makes a difference, every donor (who has not requested anonymity) has been named on the donor board which has been installed at Cohen Quad.

Director of Development Katrina Hancock (1998, Earth Sciences) said: “It is an incredible thing that we have achieved together – we started with ambitious targets and we have secured tangible support that changes the lives of students today and will go on changing them for years to come. Through the generosity of all our alumni and friends, coming to study at Oxford is now substantially more affordable and we are able to guarantee that the education that they receive will continue to challenge, inspire and enable them to be all that they might become.”

Cohen Quad is, perhaps, the epitome of the campaign in that it enhances the concept of a “collegiate education” for which Oxford is renowned, providing 21st century facilities where academics and students live and work alongside each other in an inspiring environment. Cohen Quad, which opened to students in January 2017, provides 90 student study bedrooms in the heart of Oxford, therefore reducing at a stroke, the financial difficulties that many second year students find themselves in when they have to live out in east Oxford for a full 52 weeks on commercial rents. In addition, the campaign has achieved unprecedented support for students in financial need and developed a new portfolio of scholarships for postgraduates, all of whom will benefit from the new facilities at Cohen Quad.

The Campaign has also achieved endowment funding for five key fellowships: English, History, Politics, Law, and Philosophy as well as additional funding for teaching posts in Spanish, Earth Sciences, and International Relations. These gifts ensure that Exeter can continue to offer one-to-one or one-to-two tutorials between undergraduates and leading academics who are active and renowned researchers in their fields. Cohen Quad provides additional space for these tutorials as well as seminars, lectures, group and independent study in an array of spaces including teaching rooms, an auditorium, a café, archival storage and research facilities, and a social learning hub – the Learning Commons.

Rector Professor Sir Rick Trainor will lead the celebrations to mark the success of the campaign to date and the formal opening of Cohen Quad on 18th and 19th March when all donors will be invited back to the College to visit the new quadrangle. This event is an opportunity for members of the College to thank personally each and every donor for the contribution they made – no matter how large or small – which has enabled Exeter to excel as it enters its eighth century.