Celebrating the first 10 years of the Schofield Society

Thank you to all members of the Schofield Society, both past and present, for playing such a transformative role in the last 10 years of Loughborough University.

So much has been achieved throughout the last decade, with thanks to the commitment of the Schofield Society and its members. As the former Vice-Chancellor and current Schofield Society Member, Professor Bob Allison, said during the 10-year anniversary celebrations: "Supporters help make Loughborough a place of achievement and admiration for so many, through their generosity." We hope that you enjoy reading about what has been achieved. Thank you for all your support over the last 10 years and beyond.

The Inaugural Schofield Society Dinner in 2010

The Schofield Society- impact in numbers

Over £10 million donated by Schofield Society members since 2010
£218,703.02 to sports scholarships which is equivalent to 437 scholarships at the minimum amount or 87 scholarships
£1,139,405 to Opportunity/Development Trust Scholarships in the 10 years, which is equivalent to 126 scholarships.
Members joined from 13 countries across the world, supporting scholarships, research, campus upgrades and student services.

A decade of making a difference

For ten years, members of the Schofield Society have been making a huge difference to the lives of hundreds of Loughborough students by providing scholarships and supporting the hardship fund. Thanks to this generosity, hardworking and talented students have been able to reach great success in Higher Education and take full advantage of everything Loughborough has to offer. Below are just a few examples of the impact Schofield Society members have had.

Abigail's story - An Opportunity Scholar

Abigail was awarded a Development Trust Scholarship (now known as an Opportunity Scholarship) when she started studying Human Biology at Loughborough in 2018. She is one of 165 Opportunity Scholars that have/are studying at the University, and her scholarship is funded by a family who is part of the Schofield Society. 

''Throughout my life, we haven’t exactly been wealthy, and despite my siblings and I working to supplement the household income, we still struggled as a family. Therefore, when it came to University, and the prospects of further education, I did have to question what lied ahead financially. However, with the scholarship I was awarded, I knew that I could go to University and not have to worry about struggling to eat or get the resources I needed to do well.

Overall, like any other university student, I do want to leave higher education with good grades. The scholarship itself is a further incentive for me to do well.

The overall goal is to become a teacher, and with all of the opportunities that Loughborough has to offer, and with the ability to spend time volunteering rather than working, thanks to the scholarship programme, this dream is seeming a lot more achievable.

I am so utterly grateful to the family that supports me. It’s such a selfless and generous thing to do, to offer such a large amount of money to someone they’ve never met, to help them enjoy the University the way they did. This act of generosity is so well appreciated and doesn’t go unnoticed; by me, by other scholars or by the University.''

Mary's story - An International Scholar

Mary is from Nairobi, and was awarded the John Pickford Scholarship in 2017. The John Pickford Scholarships are funded in memory of John Pickford, the founder of the Water, Engineering and Development Centre. John's Widow, Daphne was a member of the Schofield Society up until she sadly passed away in 2017. The Pickford family and friends continue to support the ongoing Scholarships today. In 2019, three John Pickford Scholarships were awarded. 

"I felt delighted and honoured to be awarded the John Pickford Scholarship 2017/18. I was overwhelmed with great joy and, above all, it was a great relief to know that the financial burden on my parents towards funding my studies had been significantly lightened.

The impact of the Scholarship on my life will go beyond what I can perceive at present. The Scholarship made it possible for me to pursue my studies at WEDC, a world reknown institution for building capacity in water and sanitation for low and middle-income countries. This has and will continue to open opportunities for future career prospects in line with my goals geared towards influencing positive change in the provision of water and sanitation services.

Being a recipient of the generous contribution of others has encouraged and inspired me to give my time and resources to help and stir others towards pursuing their goals and making positive changes in the world.

Thank you so much to the Pickford family for this wonderful opportunity.”

Drew's story - A Sports Scholar

Drew was awarded a Sports Scholarship to help him play football at a high level, whilst studying Sports Technology at Loughborough.

"I felt brilliant when I found out I had been awarded the Scholarship, it lifted an enormous weight off my shoulders as it enables me to pay for coaching, gym and performance training. This meant that I could keep improving physically and technically over the season. I used my development knowledge to help my team too.

Unfortunately during 2017/18, things didn’t go to plan. A few hamstring troubles delayed the start of my season somewhat. After my return to playing, I then suffered a major lung collapse before a game and was hospitalised for three days. Another two minor collapses have happened since, with a small re-introduction to playing in-between.

Whilst playing football at Loughborough wasn’t exactly what I dreamt of, I have learnt a lot and the Scholarship helped with developing me as a player and keeping me motivated during the dark times. I am hopeful about life post-surgery; over the next five years, I would like to be playing professionally, whether that is in the UK or abroad. Loughborough puts me in good stead for the future and will hopefully enable me to play as high as possible.

Thank you so much to all those that funded my Scholarship."

Supporting student innovation through the Creative Students Fund

''My concept involved exploring natural material used within bathroom products. By being given the award, I was able to complete some preparatory research into how people use bathroom products, why those products are selected, the range of products which are used and how natural sustainable materials could be applied in this situation. The research and design work I completed was a starting point for my application to study a part-time PhD in this field - which I will formally start in January 2013. The range of designs I produced to facilitate this research collection included handmade clay bathroom storage pots and storage blocks (made from offcuts of wood) decorated with a variety of objects.

I was absolutely elated to receive the award as it allowed me to get back to the heart of design, and why I love being a designer! Being able to construct hand-made prototypes and test them with users reminded me why I am passionate about great design. Winning the award has inspired me to carry on making and designing products in my spare time for my start-up company Dingle Designs. I will be focussing on making beautiful objects for the home. Also, I will be using my PhD looking at natural materials to help fuel the designs with well thought out, supportive design research.

I would like to say a huge thank you for funding my research which has led me to start up a company and being inspired to continue my PhD studies. The grant allowed me to complete initial exploratory work to see if this field would have the potential to grow into a larger PhD piece of research, and what specific elements of bathroom/natural material use would be most appropriate to continue developing. Again, I would re-iterate the thank you as getting this funding really provided the motivation and recognition that this subject was worth pursuing as a design and business idea.

Rebecca, Industrial Design and Technology Student

The stories of Juwon, Freya and Bekah

Transforming Campus

Schofield Society members have had a huge impact on transforming campus over the last decade. In helping to modernise facilities and supporting the building of state-of-the-art labs and teaching spaces, members of the Society have been with us at every step. Thousands of students are already reaping the benefits of this generosity and will continue to do so for years to come.

Pilkington Library- a space for everyone

This innovative project began in January 2013 with the majority of work taking place over the summer period. The key aim of the project was to improve the student experience by increasing the number of study spaces available, improving access to ICT and improving the quality and range of facilities available to library users.

The area, based in the new atrium, contains a variety of non-academic books available for students, staff and alumni. The area is approximately 94 square meters and provides seating for library users to read or work. Level Four is now also home to a quiet study area, a silent study area and group working spaces.

The refurbished Library officially opened in September 2013 and was launched by the Vice-Chancellor in December 2013.

STEMLab - A centre of research excellence

Donations from Schofield Society members contributed to the development of STEMLab, a state-of-the-art facility and part of a wider £25 million investment in the west side of campus. Having opened in 2017, STEMLab contains new engineering, physics, chemistry and bio laboratories for our students.  

It allows us to offer new facilities previously unavailable to our students, for example a ‘drop-in’ engineering workshop, alongside a range of modern laboratories and teaching spacesThese enhanced facilities benefit our current students and allow us to expand our teaching provision in STEM subjects broadening the vital role we play in supplying skilled graduates to industry in the future.

Schofield Society, a member's perspective

Peter Snook (R), Lifetime Patron of the Schofield Society and Geography graduate, at the 2014 Schofield Society Dinner with Sarah Musgrave (L), former LSU Rag Chair, Criminology and Social Policy graduate and current staff member
Peter Snook is one of the Founding Members of the Schofield Society and he very kindly became a Lifetime Patron of the Society in 2015. He supports a programme of Opportunity Scholarships, a Sports Scholarship and has donated to other projects and initiatives since his first donation to the University in 2005. Peter has also provided instrumental support for the Society and the Alumni Association through sharing his thoughts and giving advice on the direction of the University's work in these areas.
We asked Peter to share his perspective on what it means to him to be part of the Society.

What motivated you to start giving at a level that meant you became a member of the society?

''It worked the other way round, I was already giving at a level that then met the criteria for the Society when it was established. It may have been an influence in maintaining £1,000 plus donations. My larger gifts that met the Lifetime Patron membership was influenced by that criteria being set out, at a time when due to additional bonus payments at work, I wanted to avoid being hit for a hefty chunk of extra tax, and charitable giving was a way of doing that. So it was, I like to think, a mutually beneficial arrangement.''

What impact do you hope your donations have on the University and the people that benefit from your generosity?

''It's really helpful to meet and chat to those students who benefit from my donations - or from donations more generally - and to realise that they (and families) do appreciate the support they are being given. I had a great time at LU, largely unencumbered by personal debt, or the need to work, and to help people avoid those concerns to an extent, and to allow them to fully embrace all of facilities and opportunities available from LU and LSU (which are far wider in scope than in my era - and, yes, I am jealous!) is what I'd hope collectively donors can achieve for a widening group of people.''

What is your favourite thing about being a member of the Schofield Society?

''It's about recognition really, more so than specific benefits, although obviously I love the dinner etc. I did not know the current VC in 1979, but I've known the last two holders of that post, and I'd say Bob particularly well - and that extends to many of the senior team too. And that seems to me is quite a special relationship.''

What will Loughborough look like in 2030? Whatever the success stories of the next ten years are, it is you who will help us to write them.