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University of Exeter campaign reaches £50 million in donations

University of Exeter campaign reaches £50 million in donations

The University of Exeter’s fundraising campaign, ‘Making the Exceptional Happen’ has now raised £50 million through philanthropic donations.

This includes its biggest ever single gift of £10 million from the Dennis and Mireille Gillings Foundation, and takes the campaign’s fundraising total to nearly 84% of its target with less than two years to go.

The campaign is the university’s most ambitious to date and aims to raise £60 million by 2020. The current total is already more than twice the amount raised during its previous fundraising campaign.



The university has seen 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.

The 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 medical research, supported global conservation projects and advanced engineering developments. 

The University of Exeter Medical School has received significant philanthropic support including the £10 million donated by the Dennis and Mireille Gillings Foundation, which was 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.”

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.”




Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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