The third Annual Fund donor reception took place in June. The event provides an opportunity to recognise and thank Annual Fund donors of all levels, and for donors to meet Annual Fund beneficiaries and to learn further about the impact their support has at the School.
145 donors, students and staff attended the reception, in which they heard from Jenny Blakesley, Director of LSE Careers, Babora Kudzmanaite, a second year undergraduate and New Futures Fund scholarship recipient, and Hakki Mustafa (pictured), co-founder of the London 2030 summit.
Jenny thanked donors for the numerous LSE Careers initiatives that have received Annual Fund support - the new home of the Careers Resource Centre in the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre, which was specifically supported by the Friends and Family Programme; the Volunteers Centre which helps students find volunteering placements and assists them in developing their own charitable initiatives; and the LSESU Training Opportunities Initiative, which sees LSE Careers work with the Students' Union to enhance students' employability skills by taking part in training and networking sessions, and attending events with industry leading organisations.
"One of the reasons why my job is such a pleasure and a privilege is because the innovative and adventurous projects our students do here are incredibly attractive to employers," she said. "So I'm always grateful to the Annual Fund supporting such projects. Take up and feedback on the Training Opportunities Programme has been brilliant, and we are hoping to expand it in the year going forward, resulting in not just improved skill sets for the students, but hopefully a stronger Students' Union with more efficient societies."
"Meanwhile our careers resource centre in the new Student Centre is looking absolutely brilliant, and it's much more friendly and open. It's also very important to thank students for the many hours they put into volunteering, and to bring them together with the communities that have benefited and the people they've worked with, and we wouldn't have been able to do that without you."
The London 2030 Summit saw some of the most pertinent questions facing London's futures addressed by a fascinating line-up of speakers, from Shadow Minister for London, Sadiq Khan MP, to Deputy Editor of the Economist, Emma Duncan. Co-founder Hakki Mustafa made sure to thank donors, not just for the support for London 2030, but on behalf of all student societies that have received support.
"This small idea of ours evolved into the structured format of the summit, a platform for industry leaders to share their vision of developing a more prosperous London for all its inhabitants. After we made rapid progress, we had to confront the issue of cash flow, and this is where the Annual Fund stepped in," he said. "Ultimately the event was a huge success which saw over 400 LSE students hear from an incredible range of speakers. For me and my fellow co-founders it was an opportunity to develop on many levels – creatively, professionally and personally. I'm so grateful that I've been able to work with people who inspire and teach me so much, and no work could make me feel more fulfilled and happy."
The New Futures Fund scholarships, which are supported by the Annual Fund, has seen over 176 students supported since 2002, with over 40 benefiting this academic year. Thanking the donors, Barbora Kudzmanaite told the reception: "the Annual Fund has opened the doors to LSE for me, and LSE opens the doors to the world."
The Annual Fund directs unrestricted gifts to a range of projects across LSE that support students in financial need, transform the student experience and enhance teaching and research.