Landmark year for philanthropy at University of Limerick

UL Foundation chief executive Harvey Duthie.

AS University of Limerick celebrates its fiftieth anniversary, the UL Foundation has reported a landmark year for philanthropy with donations totalling more than €8.8 million.

The foundation has directed more than €200 million into projects at University of Limerick since it was established in 1989.

Chief executive Harvey Duthie said the foundation is receiving more six and seven-figure gifts, from a greater number of supporters, than ever before.

Highlights this year include a new Global Fellowships Programme with Amazon Web Services (AWS), a Founding Class Endowment, and the multiple projects funded by Analog Devices (ADI), Bank of Ireland, BD, Boston Scientific and others.

To mark UL’s first fifty years, the Foundation set out to secure fifty new scholarships. More that €900,000 has already been raised from foundation board members, alumni and supporters.

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“Our 50forFifty scholarships initiative is thriving. Scholarships are one of the most impactful ways donors can support UL students and make a real difference. Last year we provided financial assistance to more than 100 students, but we are already ahead of that this year,” explained Mr Duthie.

It has been a record year for support of UL’s Access programme with almost half of the scholarships funding Access students. Foundation chair Harry Fehily noted that this was also a “landmark year” for UL.

“It is hard to believe that in just fifty years our student population has expanded from 120 to more than 17,500, that our campus has grown from just 50 acres to 350 and that our buildings have spread from 20,000 square feet to more than 3,500,000,” he said.

“We find ourselves in a very different place to 12 months ago – a stronger, more exciting place. In-person meetings and events are resuming with vigour. Our President’s Dinner in Adare Manor was oversubscribed and the mood on the night was electric. Most importantly, it has been a record year for new donations, with nearly €9 million in cash raised for projects across the campus.

“As UL celebrates fifty years, the Foundation is actively preparing to support the University for its next fifty, and beyond. We must look forward with the certainty that no matter what obstacles we must conquer, the prize is great.”

UL President Professor Kerstin Mey said that as the first female President of an Irish University, it was her vision to harness the power of talent, imagination, and partnerships to advance UL.

“As a guiding principle for now, sustainability has to be embedded in everything we do to allow us to achieve our longer-term target of becoming a truly regenerative university,” she added.

To mark UL’s 50th anniversary, the Founding Class of 1972 have established new endowment fund for students who have attended the AccessCampus, which is an initiative between UL, Limerick Enterprise Development Partnership (LEDP) and Dell.