Philanthropic donation creates real-world investment portfolio for undergraduate students

Meg Dawson with a group of students

Meg Dawson (centre) with a group of students

Margaret (Meg) Dawson has donated $250,000 to the University to launch a first-of-its-kind fund.

The Loughborough Student Managed Fund (LSMF), launched at the beginning of the 2022 academic year, will give a group of students the opportunity to manage a real-world investment portfolio. The goal of the Fund is to create positive returns to be used solely to support financially disadvantaged students.

The Fund will be managed by a committee of students who will be selected on an annual basis. In turn, they will work with fellow students in the Loughborough Finance and Investment Society to make quarterly investment decisions – including purchasing stocks.

Engaging in this unique project, students will have the chance to gain a greater understanding of investment as well as the opportunity to enhance their experience and skills relevant for their future careers. Students will need to work to ethical guidelines and other set criteria to ensure the responsible management of the Fund.

Meg Dawson with a group of students

Alumna Margaret (Meg) Dawson graduated in 1976 with a BSc degree in Sociology. She enjoyed a successful 25+ year international career in banking at Chemical Bank, JP Morgan and Citi Bank, followed by a stint as Executive Director of Corporate Solutions at the Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina. She is now engaged in micro finance start up projects in developing economies. Her career has taken her around the world, and she is currently based in Charleston, South Carolina, USA.

Speaking about her vision for the Fund, Meg said:

“I believe all students who qualify for a university place should not be denied by lack of funds.

“The initial capital contribution is intended to develop a sustainable model to financially support students in need while encouraging students to be socially responsible investors as they develop their business finance skills.

“LSMF - managed by and for students - is a prototype, a first of its kind in the UK. My vision, if proof of concept, is to expand with additional individual and corporate support to build closer relationships between academia and the business community for the benefit of all.

“I am grateful for the enthusiastic support of the University to jointly achieve these goals, especially the faculty oversight team and all the participating students.

The Fund will provide an annual philanthropic donation from dividends to support the University’s Access to Education programmes – with a current focus on supporting Opportunity Scholarships.

Commenting on the significance of the donation and the opportunity afforded to current students, Dean of the School of Business and Economics, Professor Jan Godsell said:

“Meg has provided a fantastic real-life opportunity that not only supports our current students’ development, but also helps students who are considering university to pursue that dream.

“We are delighted that our students have the chance to gain such valuable experience through the Fund and I am looking forward to seeing how the students progress this in the coming months and years.”

Laura Hutchinson, Acting Director of Philanthropy, Alumni and Support Engagement, added:

“It’s fantastic to see Meg pioneering a creative approach to philanthropy with us, that not only benefits the students involved, but develops an income stream that enables young people to access education at Loughborough. We are very grateful for her support.” 

If you are interested in finding out how you could contribute to the Fund in the future, please get in touch with the Philanthropy team.