Stelios Haji-Ioannou, founder of the easyGroup of companies, is to give a £2 million personal donation to fund undergraduate scholarships at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Stelios graduated from LSE in 1987 with an BSc Econ (Industry and Trade). His pledge of £2 million will go towards scholarships and financial support for UK and other EU students. In total, around 100 students could potentially benefit. Part of his donation will also enable a teaching room in the New Academic Building to be developed.
He said: 'I am making this gift to LSE because I think scholarships is a great way to give something back. My father set up a fund ($10m) for Cypriot students to study abroad, administered by his three children. I was lecturing at Columbia Business school in New York last year and met one of his funded students. I saw how much difference my father's scholarships were making and how much his students were getting out of it. I saw clearly what a good way it was to give something back. I could have helped students just in Cyprus but I made my fortune in this country and I did well at LSE, which is one of the best in the country but is out of the grasp of many students who quite simply can't afford to go there. I decided to put something back.'
Howard Davies, director of LSE, said: 'We are thrilled that Stelios will be helping our students in future. LSE will be spending about a third of its additional income from variable fees on student support but, of course, we can't help everyone with our own resources. If we want to stay a 'first eleven' university in global terms, which we are today, we have to find ways of ensuring that the best students, whatever their means, can come here. This is a great boost to our campaign to raise more private support for the School.'
The Campaign for LSE was launched in 1997 with a goal of raising £100 million in philanthropic support. With his leadership gift, Stelios has tipped the Campaign over the £70 million mark. Support for scholarships - from LSE alumni as well as companies and trusts and foundations - has accounted for nearly £10 million of the overall total to date. This academic year alone, the School was able to award some £1 million in private scholarship support.
Contact Judith Higgin, LSE Press Office, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, 020 7955 7582
City sandwich (12 Oct 05)
Give it away: Stelios favours educational establishments with his easyDosh, and you will find 10 'Stelios Scholars' at LSE, his Alma Mater.
First, find your millionaire (28 March 05)
Universities are taking lessons from America on raising money from former students. Since 1997, LSE has raised more than £72m, including a recent personal donation of £2m from Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the easyJet founder, towards undergraduate scholarships. Of the £9m it raised last year, £1.6m came from the individual giving team - a group of fundraisers new to the business, each building up relationships with 180 potential major donors, or 'prospects'.
BBC News Online
Easy money to university students (27 Jan 05)
The founder of the Easyjet airline has donated £2m to his old university to help fund scholarships. Stelios Haji-Ioannou said he had made the donation to The London School of Economics 'to give something back'. The money will be used to provide scholarships and bursaries for students from the UK and other EU countries.
Observer (23 Jan)
P 5. EasyJet's Stelios prepares to take needy scholars under his wing
EasyJet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou is to plough £2 million of his personal fortune into a project to uncover future business leaders. Stelios will award 10 undergraduates a year grants of £15,000 to study at LSE, his alma mater and the establishment he credited for his success. Greek Cypriot-born Stelios said: 'I am calling them Stelios Scholars rather than Easy-Scholars because it is a more emotional project for me. I made my fortune in Britain and started at the LSE. With the abolition of the student loan, university is slipping out of the grasp of many students who quite simply can't afford it'.
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24 January 2005