Scholarship fund set up with alumnus' legacy gift

The School has received a landmark legacy gift from an alumnus, worth over £1m, to be directed towards student support. 

William Simpson (Bachelor of Commerce 1937), known as Bill, graduated with a BCOM in Industrial Relations and went on to forge a career in banking at institutions such as Midland Bank Plc. He passed away last year at the age of 97. His gift was a means of recognising the significance of his LSE education and degree in his achievements.

In respect for Bill’s appreciation for the gift of education and his desire for students to access it regardless of financial circumstance, the School will maintain his memory through the creation of the William Simpson Fund. This will be a total return endowment fund which will annually support an undergraduate, Master’s or PhD student in greatest need. 

Another interest of Bill’s was in teddy bears, owner of a vast and valuable collection, and often speaking and writing about their history. In 2008 he donated most of his teddy bear collection to the Hampshire County Council Museums Service. Part of the ‘Simpson collection’ is on display at Milestones Museum of Living History, Basingstoke, with the rest of the collection kept at the Hampshire Museum's headquarters in Winchester. 

This news follows that of an anonymous donor agreeing to provide £500,000 in scholarship support for Master’s students from Hong Kong. The Diana LEE WONG Pui Yue Scolarship Fund will see one scholarship awarded per year, starting in 2015/16. 

“These kind of gifts are critical in ensuring that ability and application are the only prerequisites for an LSE education,” said Sue Plater, Financial Support Manager. “Annual events like the Donors & Scholars reception and the Legacy Futures Lunch are always nice timely reminders of why we in the Financial Support Office and LSE Advancement work so hard together to facilitate these kind of gifts. The level of gratitude from the students for the support they receive can often be quite overwhelming and moving.”

This adds to the already existing number of scholarships funded by legacy gifts, which helped 13 students across all levels undertake study at the School in 2013/14. Further detail on the transformative impact of legacy giving can be found on page 4 of the latest edition of Impact, the newsletter for supporters of LSE.