Members of the Schofield Society generously donate at least £1,000 per year to Loughborough.
They are invited to campus on an annual basis to hear updates from the University and from individual student beneficiaries.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nick Jennings, hosted the event at the West Park Teaching Hub, which marked 12 years since the Society was formed.
He gave an opening speech to welcome guests, thanking them for their kind support:
"I’d like to thank members of the Schofield Society for all that they’ve done for us over the last 12 months.
"Hearing directly from students and staff members is a really important and powerful message about the importance of what donations and what giving enables. Support really does enable people to come to Loughborough, who wouldn’t otherwise be able to, and they can have a good experience because they can participate in a whole range of activities and opportunities. It is a really important and good thing to do."
Members of the Schofield Society contribute to a range of projects, funds and causes at Loughborough. Alumni and friends have the opportunity to choose where to donate to, having a broad-ranging impact on the University.
This year alone, donations to Opportunity Scholarships are supporting 53 new students with their studies. Students receive £3,000 per year for three years during their course, giving them chance to focus on study and to enjoy their Loughborough experience to the full. The scholarships provide a lifeline to many, particularly those from low socio-economic backgrounds. In this years’ cohort of 53 scholars, 58% are from households with an annual income of less than £10,000.
To share her story, a current final year Opportunity Scholar, Natasha (pictured below) talked about the impact that philanthropic support has had on her Loughborough experience:
"The experiences I have had throughout my time at Loughborough have helped me to develop so many skills that will benefit me in years to come, and were also a huge help in securing my placement. […] I know that without this scholarship, none of these experiences would have been possible."
Some donors have contributed to support the Start-Up Fund, which helps student and recent graduate businesses, whilst others have supported health and wellbeing research, enabling multi-disciplinary approaches to some of the world's greatest health challenges. Research areas include dementia, chronic illness and antimicrobial resistance.
The Student Success Academy was launched last year thanks to a £2 million donation from alumnus Chris Gill. Further support has been provided by fellow alumni and donors to continue the growth of the new Academy, which seeks to open the door to Higher Education and provide support to tackle disadvantages around academic success and employment outcomes.
Another key area of research at Loughborough that has been supported by large philanthropic donations is the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport. Sir Peter Harrison had a vision, and paired with brilliant academic minds at Loughborough, the centre was born.
Professor Vicky Tolfrey, Professor of Applied Disability Sport and Director of the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport, shared an update on the power of sport at the event. She reflected on the history of Para sport at Loughborough, the legacy of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games and how research has helped many para-athletes strive to reach new heights in their sport.
The annual Schofield Society dinner is one way in which we say a huge thank you to our donors for their support. The impact of their donations and wide-ranging support can be seen on our Giving website, where you can also find out more information about the Schofield Society.
If you are interested in becoming a member or finding out more, please get in touch.