This year’s fortunate recipients of The 125 Fund had the opportunity to showcase their projects and meet the supporters who, through their generous donations, have made the fund possible for a third year
On 4 April, supporters and students came together for a showcase and networking event to celebrate The 125 Fund and recognise the impact the funding is making towards the students’ personal and professional development. A selection of student recipients also showcased their projects, allowing supporters to see for themselves the creative and innovative ways in which the money they donated is being spent.
The evening event, hosted by the University’s Development Team, opened with a speech from the University’s Vice-Chancellor Dr Peter Bonfield. Following his welcoming address, students Amanda Jesenska and Cassie Li, who received the funding last year, delivered a short presentation on how the funding had changed and enriched their student experience and made their projects possible.
Student beneficiary, Duncan Catterall, who intends to use the funding to expand his business ‘Croquet & Cocktails’ said: “This evening has been really exciting to understand the breadth and depth of the projects and creativity that The 125 Fund has funded. It’s really interesting to meet all the donors and allow us to express our appreciation for their donations.”
Guests also had the opportunity to hear from alumnus Dr Nigel Molden, currently Vice-Chairman of the Governors at Claremont High School Academy in Harrow and of Oxford Spires Academy, who attended the University in the late 1960s.
Nigel treated guests to anecdotes of his time at ‘the Poly’ and described the uniqueness of opportunity which studying at Westminster gave to him. Speaking of The 125 Fund, he said: “I am fully aware the University of Westminster is one of the outstandingly newer universities, but from my point of view it is also a unique, historical, educational institution and I believe that it is that uniqueness of opportunity that will drive it forward to even greater success in the future.”
Summarising the occasion at the end of the evening, Dr Peter Bonfield said: “We’ve had a brilliant event which has brought together a wonderful combination of donors, alumni, aspiring students and an array of stories which just make Westminster what it is – wonderful.”
The fund provides students with the opportunity to develop projects as part of, or in addition to their studies, expanding their portfolios and enhancing employability. There are no specifications on what type of projects students can apply for, and at the showcase last week projects included a documentary about the LGBT+ community in India and Goa, the development of salt as a building material and a yoga photography business, among many others.
Established in 2016 to celebrate 125 years of the University, The 125 Fund is a matched funding opportunity open to all current Westminster students. It is only possible due to the generous donations from our alumni, and to the Quintin Hogg Trust who continue to match each donation to the fund, pound for pound.