Annual scholarships and bursaries reception
By news editor, on 25 March 2013
On Tuesday 12th March, UCL held the annual Scholarships and Bursaries Reception.
Hosted by the UCL students who are the current recipients of the awards, the event aimed to draw attention to the significance of the philanthropy.
It was a wonderful chance to celebrate the impact all the generous contributions have on the experience of the UCL students. Yet, above all it was an opportunity for the students to thank for this support to the donors to their awards.
On the evening, the audience of more than 100 guests heard speeches of the UCL President and Provost, Professor Malcolm Grant as well as three student ambassadors and current recipients of the scholarships and bursaries. They spoke movingly about the tremendous change the awards brought to their lives.
Matthew Milner, was forced to withdraw from UCL a few years ago due to a serious illness, and was able to return to UCL this academic year owing to the Rose Bursary. He said: “I would like to thank my donor again for helping me directly, and hope that my story serves to encourage others to give to those who, for whatever reason, find themselves struggling to complete their education.
“In my case, illness threw me off course. Thanks to my donor, it is almost as though this had never happened. I have been given the means to move forward without being defined by my past or living in fear of the future.
“I cannot stress how much this has affected my perception of life. I sincerely hope that I too am given the opportunity to help someone through difficult times and enable them to become all they are capable of being.”
Janani Paramsothy, currently in her final year of hew Law degree stated confidently: “UCL has saved me. Looking back now, I see how that year I was standing on a precipice. The path that my life took could have been very, very different to what it is right now.
“Thank you all for not only your money, but for your belief in us. For making our student experience not only easier, but better. For making us better.”
Anisa Mahmoudi, originally from South Africa, talked about how honoured she feels to be given the opportunity to pursue her education at one of the world-leading universities – which would be impossible without the scholarship.
She added: “So not only are we thankful that you have funded our education, but I think I speak for everyone when I say I am thankful that you have taught me, first hand, the importance of being generous and changing someone’s life – a lesson I will keep forever and endeavour to continue practising in some or other way in my own life.”
We also heard speeches from Joanne Averiss (LLB Law, 1985) and Clairmonte Bourne (LLB Law, 1989). Both UCL alumni and currently the donors to the awards, they spoke inspiringly about the importance of the contributions as an investment in the future, which is already bearing fruit, and as a way to give students from different backgrounds equal opportunities to develop their potential.
The event was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the impact of philanthropy and encouraged an inspiring exchange of thoughts and experience.
For us, the recipients of the awards, it was also a unique chance to express how thankful we are for the generosity of our donors and the support we thus receive.
Watch George Chatham, recipient of the Freshfields Scholarship, talk about the difference it has made to him:
Watch Anastazja Maria Grudnicka, recipient of the Sarmatian Bursary talk about what it means to her: