// University News
Alumni and friends celebrate fourth annual Donor Day
On Saturday 7 March, the University hosted an annual event dedicated to thanking those who have made a difference to Loughborough through donations.
Over sixty donors attended, who heard first-hand from students, alumni and University staff who they have positively impacted.
Donor Day was also an opportunity to raise the profile of the University and give guests an exclusive insight into the University’s ongoing activities.
Pro Vice-Chancellor for Teaching, Professor Rachel Thomson welcomed guests and chaired a panel discussion about the University’s Widening Participation initiatives, highlighting the impact of donations on those who ae underrepresented in higher education.
On the panel were current LSU Welfare and Diversity Executive Officer, Matt Youngs; School and College Liaison Manager, Kirsty Wilkinson; and Ryan Cosgrove, a former scholar who graduated with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering in 2017.
The panel discussed the importance of supporting students from all backgrounds, enabling them to study at Loughborough. Kirsty led a hands-on session with the visitors, who had the chance to try out “HE Unboxed”, an initiative designed to inform and excite school leavers about their higher education options.
During the day, donors were welcomed to the Donors and Scholars lunch, where they heard from the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Robert Allison, and current scholar, Dean Lafferty.
Final year student Dean, who is studying Retailing, Marketing and Management, thanked donors for their generous contributions and talked about how his scholarship has helped him to have a “life-changing Loughborough journey”.
A group of guests heard from Loughborough's Formula Student team and had a tour around the engineering facilities, whilst another group heard about Para-Sport at Loughborough, chaired by Head of Para Sport at Loughborough, Nik Diaper.
Nik was joined by alumnus Sam Ruddock (International Relations, 2012), who is currently on the British Para-Cycling Talent programme and competed in Athletics at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympic Games.
Current Sport and Exercise student Hannah Moore also joined the discussion. She is a sports scholar and two-time World Para-Triathlon Champion. Hannah spoke of her experiences competing on the world stage, and how her scholarship helps to ensure she can focus on studies and training. Thomas Young, a Loughborough College student is also a sports scholar, training in Para-Athletics. He also joined the panel and talked about rewarding and challenging moments as an athlete.
Automotive Engineering students Josh Harris and Jeffrey Wong led the session about Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering; the pair gave an update on Formula Student Motorsport and the UAS Challenge Team before guests took a tour of the engineering facilities.
Thanks to supporters of the University, in the year 2018-2019, £2.5 million was donated. More than 900 donors contributed to this, and in the 2019-2020 academic year, there are 247 scholars being supported by philanthropic donations to the University.
The impact of donors not only supports students, but also helps to advance research excellence, sport and campus developments.