An LSE alumnus has made a gift of £50,000 towards the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre in memory of his late friend and classmate.
The generous donation from Sebastian McKinlay (BSc Economics 1995) and his wife Alison will see the room housing the Student Activity Resource Centre within the new building named the Mburu Kiereini Room. Sebastian and Mburu (pictured) met in halls of residence at LSE and studied economics together, becoming close friends and later housemates.
“Alison and I are very happy to have the chance to provide this donation in Mburu’s name,” said Sebastian. “I left LSE with knowledge, fun memories and a few close friends, all of which continue to play a significant role in the way my life and career develops to this day. So when Mburu passed away a few years ago, I realised that I had not only lost a great friend also the benefit of his positive influence on me and my family going forward. Responsible, charming and respectful of others, Mburu was a role model for many and I was no exception.”
The Student Activity Resource Centre will be housed on the first floor of the student centre, and will offer meeting and computer space for Students’ Union societies and sports clubs. Sebastian believes this is an appropriate area in which to honour Mburu: “He studied carefully and sensibly through the year, but kept a balance through an active social and sporting life.”
Sebastian, who has worked for Kleinwort Benson and Fidelity International, feels he is still enjoying the benefits of studying at LSE to this day, and so felt it was right to support the School philanthropically. “The knowledge and experience I gained not only gave me a great start in my professional career, but the international nature of the School showed me the depth of talent that exists in every region across the globe and stimulated a lifelong interest in how the international economic and political system works,” he said.
“It is a set of credentials that I have carried with me for nearly 20 years and from which I have derived great benefit. Almost all industries are intensely competitive and education is no exception – I think we all now understand that universities require world class facilities to continue to attract world class students, faculty and research.”
The Saw Swee Hock Student Centre will be in full use in January 2014.