Hosted by Virginia Beardshaw CBE, Chair of the Annual Fund, last year's reception included speeches from former LSE Students’ Union General-Secretary, Nona-Buckley Irvine (BSc Philosophy 2014), and Lucy Carr (LLB 2016), a recent graduate and beneficiary of the New Futures Fund scholarship programme.
Nona used her speech to detail a number of Students’ Union affiliated societies that have benefited from the Annual Fund in 2015/16, citing examples such as a first-time collaboration between the Drama Society and the Music Society on a musical production, and the Women’s Rugby Club hosting a women’s rugby development day for 153 girls from six schools.
“Supporting the activities of students outside of their degrees is so valuable, and your donations enable our societies to aspire and be ambitious,” she said. “It’s about supporting groups and individuals to become well rounded, to have fun, and to maximise their time at university. Having witnessed the power of the Annual Fund for several years now, I can firmly say its funding plays a fundamental role in supporting these students to be the best they can be.”
Lucy Carr thanked Annual Fund supporters on behalf of all New Futures Fund scholars, highlighting how her scholarship enabled her to be the first of her family to attend university. Discussing her immediate plans to enter a career in corporate law, she said: “I feel very strongly that if it wasn’t for your generosity, I would not be in the position I am today. You have allowed me to be taught by some of the top academics in the field at one of the most prestigious universities in the country, and to meet many people with varying life stories – something very different to my small home town in Yorkshire.”
Furthermore, Lucy explained the knock on effect of inspiring her sister to attend university. “She never thought she would want to do so. So I have to say from the bottom of my heart a huge thank you, for the impact you have had, not only on my life but on my family too,” she said.
Professor Paul Kelly, Pro-Director for Teaching and Learning, rounded off proceedings by reiterating the importance of the Annual Fund. “In terms of impact, it is as important as the major investments that we make in buildings and the long term future of the School,” he concluded.
Tony Wright (MSc Government 1976) was one donor in attendance. “This was the first time I’ve been on campus in 40 years. As well as being reminded of the warm memories I have of the School, I was hugely impressed with the testimonies of the speakers. The Annual Fund is indeed doing great work, and I went home with a spring in my step!” he said.