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Celebrating the generosity of donors and volunteers

Donors, volunteers, students and staff of Birkbeck gathered at ‘An Evening of Thanks’ to celebrate contributions to college life, made possible by the generosity of benefactors.

Birkbeck’s annual ‘An Evening of Thanks’ was hosted on 13 July 2017 in a space generously provided by law firm Hogan Lovells, welcoming donors, volunteers, students and staff for an evening of celebration.

The evening enables donors and volunteers drawn from across the College community to hear first-hand the impact that their support for Birkbeck students can have in changing lives.

Aziza Sentissi, a PhD candidate in Mathematics and Statistics, whose doctorate has been funded by a scholarship from global investment company Winton, addressed the guests in a speech.

She said: “Studying at Birkbeck exceeded by far all my expectations. It has competitive programmes with strong curriculums, an outstanding faculty and dedicated staff. You can sense the commitment to the university’s mission at each one of your interactions either with the professors or with the staff. I have always been amazed that everybody will make that extra effort to help you thrive in your studies and achieve your goals as you are trying to balance your work-life and your studies. 

“The support from Winton has indeed made it possible for me to join the full-time PhD programme in Mathematics. There are no words that really capture how grateful I am for this support and for the opportunity to pursue a long-term ambition to build a career in research in Mathematics.”

Projects that have benefited from donor funding were also showcased, such as: the student counselling service, which has recently appointed a new counsellor to focus on those less likely to seek mental health support; the Compass Project, which will offer 20 asylum seekers per year a fully funded place on an undergraduate or postgraduate course; and Birkbeck Talent, our student recruitment service which has received funding for student internships.

Professor David Latchman CBE, Master of Birkbeck, spoke too, reflecting on the College’s 194-year history, and the plans for the College’s upcoming bicentenary: “Not many institutions reach their 200th anniversary, and fewer still do so with their founding mission firmly in mind. We are still working for the benefit of working Londoners,” long after the College’s founder George Birkbeck first spoke on the importance of educating the working people of London in 1823.

He went on to thank all those who attended, and who have donated their time and money to the College, saying “our alumni offer so much to our current students, and we are eternally grateful to them.”

Support our students: Donations from alumni are crucial in enabling the College to offer the best opportunities to those, like Aziza, who would otherwise not be able to access higher education, and change their lives. With your support, we can continue to make that a reality. Make a donation.

Interested in volunteering? By providing your time and expertise, you can make a real contribution to the lives of prospective and current Birkbeck students during a critical time in their lives. 

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