The generosity of some of the School’s most important supporters was celebrated at the second Annual Fund Donor Reception on 26 June. Over canapés and drinks, donors met beneficiaries of their gifts and discussed some of the 67 projects that Annual Fund support has enabled this financial year.
Following a welcome from Chair of the Annual Fund, Peter Jones CBE, the reception heard from two Annual Fund beneficiaries – Elizabeth Chapman, Director of LSE Library Services, who spoke of how Annual Fund support facilitated LSE’s successful acquisition of The Women’s Library; and Agne Stengeryte, a New Futures Fund scholarship recipient and treasurer of the LSESU Baltic Society.
Speaking of the £100,000 award received to support The Women’s Library @ LSE project, Elizabeth thanked donors. “This early donation was absolutely key because it raised the morale of those working on the bid,” she said. “If you weren’t already proud of LSE library, you absolutely must be now. To have this collection is a huge enhancement to what we have.”
She detailed some of the plans for the collection, the largest in Europe relating to the lives of women, including the Women’s Walks app, which will transform the collection into an interactive historical journey through the streets of London. She added: “What we’re doing here is bringing a genuinely incomparable collection to LSE, absolutely where it should be. It is a fantastic addition to the collections we already have, so thank you so much for your donations.”
Agne Stengeryte (pictured), a Lithuanian national who is studying BSc Accounting and Finance, expressed her delight at receiving scholarship support from the New Futures Fund, which has supported 23 undergraduate and postgraduate students this year through Annual Fund donations. “These last few months in London are the most exciting times I have ever had,” she said. “Financial aid allows students to concentrate on our studies, as well as extra-curricular activities. I have the chance to take advantage of everything offered on campus.”
As well as her scholarship, Agne also discussed how Annual Fund support enabled the LSESU Baltic Society to host the Baltic States Forum, a conference of the Baltic States whose speakers included former Prime Minister of Lithuania, Andrius Kubilius. “Without this help, we wouldn’t have had such amazing things happen for us,” she said. “I hope sometime in the future to be on the opposite side, donating to the LSE Annual Fund, because the gift I received is unforgettable and I am determined to help future generations on their path.”
LSE Pro-Director (Teaching and Learning), Paul Kelly, rounded the speeches off with some closing remarks on the positive effect of philanthropy on the School. “The fund allows us to unlock the incredible initiative of many of our students,” he said. “You’ve enabled LSE to allocate over £1 million this year, which is an extraordinary contribution to the life of the School. We appreciate that you want to contribute to a whole variety of areas – although you do support capital projects and estates, you also fund the smaller, immediate projects and that’s the special thing about the Annual Fund.”
About the Annual Fund
Each year, the Annual Fund allocates unrestricted gifts made by alumni, parents, governors, staff and friends of LSE. It supports a wide variety of initiatives around campus, including strategic School projects, financial support for students, funding departmental initiatives, contributing to estates projects on campus, and supporting Students’ Union and student-led activities. This financial year (2012/13) the Annual Fund has supported 67 projects across the School, allocating over £1 million of funds raised in 2011/12.