From Paris with love

“Studying at Birkbeck is easily the most significant thing I’ve ever done in my life.” Inspired by her time at Birkbeck and motivated to invest in the College’s future, actress and photographer Paris Jefferson has pledged a gift to Birkbeck in her will.

Paris as Athena in Xena: Warrior Princess

Actress and Birkbeck alumna Paris Jefferson has pledged a gift to the College in her will to help future generations of students get the most out of higher education.

She enrolled on a BA in Politics, Philosophy and History in 2008, after establishing herself as a successful performer and artist, working alongside Brad Pitt in The Counsellor, in television series Xena: Warrior Princess and as Anna Karenina at the Dublin Gate Theatre. She began her studies “filled with fear” after a break from education, but with support from her supervisor Professor Susan James, lecturer Dr Sam Ashenden, tutors and classmates, she graduated four years later shocked by her academic accomplishments and personal development.

She says: “The value of what I got from Birkbeck is priceless. Studying at Birkbeck is easily the most significant thing I’ve ever done in my life.” At Birkbeck, Paris married her theatrical past to her academic studies. She is now transforming her Birkbeck dissertation, an original play and imagined debate between philosophers David Hume and René Descartes, into a film screenplay.

Paris wanted to give back to Birkbeck, but as an actress and photographer with a fluctuating work schedule, she could not make consistent donations and so decided to leave a legacy in her will instead.  

Paris’s pledge is an investment in the future of the College, and she hopes that her gift will “encourage someone who might have never imagined they could come to Birkbeck” and change his or her life, just as she has done.  

Paris encourages other alumni to consider making a legacy pledge through a gift in their will. “Every amount will make a difference,” she notes. “Don’t ever think your money will not make a difference because it will.”

Remembering Birkbeck in your will

Like Paris, many alumni and supporters have chosen to help secure Birkbeck’s future by leaving a gift in their wills.   

These gifts fund a variety of research projects and support students in different ways. Whatever the amount, gifts in wills make an enormous difference to the College and to students who may otherwise be unable to continue in education.

Legacy gifts of every size have a lasting impact and help to ensure that Birkbeck, its high-quality teaching and its world-class research continue to serve future generations of students. If you would like to know more about leaving a gift in your will to Birkbeck, please with our team. 

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