King's remembers its fundraising history
Throughout their history, King’s College London and the institutions with which it has merged have been shaped by a rich tradition of philanthropy. Indeed, King’s owes its origin to the benefaction of eminent politicians, churchmen and others, not least the first Duke of Wellington.
British Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone was an active friend to the College throughout his life, raising money for it on a number of occasions. In 1845 he addressed a public meeting to raise subscriptions to continue the work of King’s College Hospital, which was nearly bankrupt. The subscription list was headed by Queen Victoria with a donation of £100, and before the meeting closed the fund stood at over £2,000.
Milestones in King’s history have often been associated with fundraising activity. In 1879 the College marked its 50th anniversary by launching a campaign that included creation of a ‘Ladies’ Department’ of King’s. The College hoped to raise £25,000 through donations.
In 1929 the Centenary Appeal Committee prepared a £350,000 appeal which appeared in The Times, the Telegraph and other newspapers. It was signed by Lord Rosebery as Chancellor of the University of London, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lord Mayor of London, amongst others. To assist with the appeal, students packed and sent out some 8,000 booklets to friends of the College.
The centenary fundraising activities and celebrations were opened by the Duke and Duchess of York. ‘There is’, the Duke said, ‘no worthier gift which a man may offer to his country than the endowment of a great educational institution.’
In more recent times, King’s closed its first modern campaign in 2004 having raised £44 million over seven years. The Annual Fund, established in 1993, goes from strength to strength. Since its inception, the Fund has received 86,844 gifts, raising more than £2.5 million from nearly 7,500 donors. It has enabled over 25 PhD studentships and supported 275 student-focused projects impacting over 100,000 students.