CYD Badges 1140x447

Donor Appreciation Day 2019

The University's inaugural Donor Appreciation Day was held on 5 December 2019 in London.  We celebrated our many long-standing donors, demonstrating our sincere gratitude to all of you who give continually to the University year in, year out, sometimes for decades. 

It was hosted by our Vice-Chancellor and Warden, Professor Stuart Corbridge, who paid tribute to alumni whose giving to Durham is a continuing commitment; those whose generosity is supporting generations of students.  Professor Corbridge was keen to chat personally with as many donors present as possible to offer his personal thanks and to talk a little about the University's exciting plans to develop our campus and our teaching and research capabilities.  A highpoint of the afternoon was his presentation of personalised plaques and donor pins to three supporters: Kate A Davies, Sandra J Lawman and Zygmunt Wilamowski who are among those who celebrated their 25 years of giving last year (pictured right).

Lifelong Support

Like many of our regular donors, it was a call from one of our student fundraisers that first prompted Kate to start donating to the University.

"I can remember sitting in my flat in Surbiton (early 1990s) and getting a phone call from a very enthusiastic and persuasive young lady - I think from Collingwood - asking if I would be prepared to donate to the College on a regular basis.  So I set up a direct debit for the enormous (!) amount of £10 a month."

Now, more than 25 years later Kate continues to support the University through philanthropic donations.
"I have been extraordinarily lucky all my life and do want to give something back to Collingwood and Durham generally - so am very happy to be a regular donor."

Thank you for Enhancing our Students' Experience

Scholar Anna Birakos, who is in her second year at Grey College studying Archaeology and Ancient History, has benefited from the support of our donors and expressed her gratitude for alumni philanthropic support.
"My time at Durham, although not over yet, has already been the most incredible time of my life, my love for studying is of course part of this, however, the social side of University and my ability to participate in whatever I find interesting and exciting, is something that I couldn't have done without my scholarship."

Anna is in no doubt about the impact alumni support has had on her University experience, allowing her to participate fully in all Durham has to offer without the burden of financial worries.
"Through the generosity of your donations - you have enabled me and countless others the ability to make a fresh start, without limitation or embarrassment and the chance to embrace University life with happiness."

With your continued support we are able to ensure that others, like Anna, are able to achieve their full potential here at Durham.
"I cannot begin to explain what a life-changing impact this makes upon everyone that receives funding.  I speak on behalf of those who already have or who will receive funding in the future because truly we need to thank you."

DAD Anna and Kate

Kate A Davies (German, Collingwood College, 1981) with event speaker and Fairbairn Scholar Anna Birakos

If you are interested in making a regular gift to Durham, please click here


Your Regular Donations make a BIG Difference

Julie Pullman, the University's Scholarships and Postgraduate Loans Manager, spoke about the difference regular donations make to the lives of our students.  

Julie Pullman-4

Julie highlighted the impact of donations on our most successful charitable fund to date, the Student Opportunities Fund (SOF). 

In 2018-19 the SOF received £105,685 through 4,720 gifts from 727 donors.  Your regular giving to SOF enables more of our alumni worldwide to help more of our students than through any other appeal. 

Thanks to your generosity, we are able to ensure many more students have the opportunity to play a full part in University life: to participate in team sports; to develop extra-curricular skills that will enrich their lives long after university: to travel with their peers on field trips or study exchanges; or to attend interviews nationwide and to purchase the appropriate clothing for the sector they are hoping to join.  

Julie outlined other areas of funding to students which are supported by SOF and which enrich the lives of our students.

The DU Fund for Students Travelling Abroad 

Durham University Expeditions Group  

Durham University Arts Management Group 

Student Employability Fund 

Our Chance to say Thank You

Donor Appreciation Day is our opportunity to say thank you to all of you who have loyally supported the University for many years.  All donations, large or small, make an immeasurable difference, enabling more and more students to fulfil their potential here at Durham.

On behalf of the staff and students we would like to say an enormous THANK YOU to you all!

Plaque Awardees
Kate A Davies, Sandra Lawman (History, St Mary's College, 1980), Zigmunt Wilamowski, Stuart Corbridge, and Anna Birakos (Pictured Left to Right)

"The reason I have donated for 25 years and continue to do so is by way of a small token to show my appreciation for the doors opened to me by attaining a good degree at this world renowned university."

Zygmunt Wilamowski, 25-year donor (Economics, St Cuthbert's Society, 1972)

Anna Birakos 2
"Funding has an immense and immeasurable impact on all of those who receive it and I am just one of a huge number of students who benefit beyond belief from this."

Anna Birakos, Fairbairn Scholar (Archaeology and Ancient Civilisation, Grey College, 2021)

Joan Kenworthy
"I am so glad I was able to attend the gathering today.  It allowed me to meet some old Mary's 'girls' and even two former colleagues. Today worked brilliantly!"

Joan Kenworthy (Principal of St Mary's College,1977-99) 

Donate Now Impact - Donate Now
Click here for ways to support Durham

Chancellor's Appeal

The Impact of your Support

We are incredibly grateful for the gifts we receive from our alumni and supporters. See how your donation has helped support the University and our projects.

MTS 2019-20 Sir Tom Mary-Anne and Hannah

Meet the Scholars 

Meet some of this year's new scholars who are at the beginning of their Durham journey and discover the impact our donor's generosity is already having on their Durham experience.

Meet the Scholars


Donate Now

Support Durham in any of our current projects. From research and academic endeavours to all aspects of student experience as well as projects in your college. 

Development and Alumni Relations Office
The Palatine Centre
Stockton Road

0191 334 6305

The full team is currently working out of the office due to Covid-19. We always love to hear from you but it may take us a little longer than usual to respond - especially by mail or telephone. Thank you for bearing with us. Please do get in touch with us online for anything time-sensitive at