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£50 million is more than twice the total of the previous campaign

University of Exeter Campaign reaches £50 million in donations

The University of Exeter’s fundraising campaign, ‘Making the Exceptional Happen’ has exceeded £50 million of philanthropic donations, taking the total to nearly 84% of target with less than two years to go.

The Campaign is the University’s most ambitious ever, aiming to raise £60 million by 2020.  The current total is already more than twice the amount raised during the previous fundraising campaign.

This increase reflects record growth in donor numbers over the past five years. Last year nearly 3,300 alumni and supporters made a financial donation to Exeter’s ‘Making the Exceptional Happen’ Campaign, up from 1,775 five years ago.

Donations help students from less advantaged backgrounds to attend Exeter and also support societies, sports and employability activities across all campuses. In addition, philanthropy has funded vital medical research, supported global conservation projects and advanced important engineering developments.

The University of Exeter Medical School has received significant philanthropic support including the University’s largest ever single gift – £10 million donated by the Dennis and Mireille Gillings Foundation – for developments that will include a state-of-the-art neuroimaging centre, currently under construction at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. 

Professor Clive Ballard, Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Medical School said: “Philanthropic support is crucial for us to continue our research into life-altering conditions such as cancer, diabetes and dementia. Thanks to the generosity of alumni and supporters, we have been able to fund critical projects that develop better treatments and increase understanding of how we can prevent the on-set of some of these diseases. Philanthropy has also been of enormous benefit in developing opportunities within our educational programme, in particular giving new opportunities to students from less advantaged backgrounds.”

It’s not just major gifts that have significant impact. Many alumni choose to give regular smaller amounts via direct debit and these combine to have a transformative effect on student experiences. 100% of all philanthropic donations go directly to specified areas, and do not fund administration or other University running costs. 

Dr Shaun Curtis, Director of Global Advancement at the University of Exeter said: “We are incredibly grateful to all our alumni and supporters who have got behind our Campaign. Their generosity has already made a massive difference to both researchers and students here at Exeter. With their ongoing support Exeter will continue to transform lives into the future.” 

To help the ‘Making the Exceptional Happen’ Campaign reach its goal, get involved at

Watch the Campaign video below

Date: 11 February 2019

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