Honouring the past, building for the future
Alumni and supporters have responded in strikingly generous ways to the appeal for funds to help us build two new accommodation buildings, a new courtyard, a new common room and a new entrance to college. To date, donors and alumni have raised over £12m in just under six months. Such extraordinary generosity will allow the College to make a transformative difference both to the feel of the College estate and to our capacity to continue making a top-flight Oxford education available to talented young people irrespective of means or background.
The acquisition of this site last year represented a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enlarge our College site and build affordable student accommodation within the expanded College curtilage.
An enormously generous match funding offer of £5m from an anonymous donor helped to inspire others to give and accelerated our rising totals. As a direct result of that wonderful gift, we are delighted to announce that one of our two new student accommodation buildings will be named after our previous Master, Mark Damazer – a fitting tribute to the energy and vision which characterised Mark and Rosie’s nine years at St Peter’s. The beautiful ‘Damazer House’ will nestle in close to Canal House and Bulwarks Lane.
A generous gift of a further £5m means that the other accommodation building on the new development will be named in honour of Alexander Mosley, a gifted St Peter’s alumnus who died young. Our very fine ‘Alexander Mosley House’ will mark the boundary of the new development at the New Road end. We are very grateful to the Alexander Mosley Charitable Trust for making this possible. A new courtyard will sit between these two houses which will provide podium views across Canal House garden to Nuffield Tower and Castle Mound beyond.
This campaign, however, has been notable as much for the support it has generated across the College community as for these foundational gifts. So far, more than 1 in 10 of all alumni contacted have given, a participation rate that would be notable for any college. We are proud and touched that the St Peter’s community has stepped forward to help in this impressive way. In referencing what has inspired them to give, donors have mentioned both their recognition of College’s very positive contribution to their own lives and their understanding of the clear need for future generations of students. We could not be more grateful: thank you all.
This is, in its very nature, a shared project in which we collectively have an investment in the future of St Peter’s: thinking about it in these shared terms has been such a pleasure and we have loved hearing from so many of you about why College matters to you. Whatever the size of your gift, we want to thank all who have joined in making it possible for College to move forward confidently with the inspiring Castle Hill House project. We look forward to celebrating with as many as can join us when the new development opens in Autumn 2022.
In order to get us to the total £15m needed, the campaign, in line with plans, remains open for the rest of this calendar year. A few naming opportunities remain – including a handful of new student rooms. (We are continuing the discounted rate of £12.5k for each of these until July 2020 – first come, first served: do be in touch if this might appeal.) Small gifts are every bit as welcome as large ones: we are just delighted that a broad-based community feels part of this. If you might still like to be involved with us in helping to deliver on this important project for College, we’d love to hear from you.
Professor Judith Buchanan
Master, St Peter’s College