Gift Impact

A generous tradition of philanthropy stretching back to the University’s earliest days has sustained and enriched its research and teaching, as individuals and families have invested in the subjects and programs which they care about most deeply. Such financial support increases access to educational opportunity for those who might otherwise miss out, and assists researchers and students to strive for excellence. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is proud and grateful to have been the beneficiary of such generosity, over many years.

Recent gifts include:

Support for study: Preserving Aboriginal past and present

Arts student Kirsty Mitchell was the first recipient of the Gwen and David Moore Aboriginal Scholarship. She tells us what it means to her in this update.

Kenneth Reed Postgraduate Research Scholarship in English

Kenneth Reed and Jonathan Dunk

Kenneth Reed and Jonathan Dunk - Image courtesy Vanessa Smith

Early in November the Department of English thanked Kenneth Reed for his generosity in setting up the Kenneth Reed Postgraduate Research Scholarship in English. Kenneth has been a noted philanthropist outside of academia over many
years, especially to the arts, and he has also donated substantial amounts to the University of Sydney, where he took out a Bachelor of Arts in 1957 and Bachelor of Laws in 1960. Law provided him with a successful career, but in 2013, when his gift of $4.5 million to the Faculty of Arts and Humanities was announced, he remarked that “my fondest memories were when I was doing English. A degree in English or the arts equips you for any other field. People need a good basis and understanding of their own language and the history and literature of their own language”. Kenneth’s substantial gift to the Department takes those positive sentiments far further in very practical and beneficial terms. Kenneth donated $500,000 towards a postgraduate scholarship in perpetuity, with a further $4 million bequest for postdoctoral scholarships. He also gave a gift-in-kind of 17th century Dutch Masters to the University’s art collection, with an extra $1 million set aside for their upkeep.

We are pleased to announce that Jonathan Dunk is the inaugural recipient of the Kenneth Reed Postgraduate Research Scholarship in English. The scholarship has had an immediate benefit, allowing Jonathan to transfer from a part-time PhD to full-time research. At the intellectual level, the firm financial base the scholarship provides greatly improves his ability to study intensely, and thereby finish his thesis in a timely manner. Jonathan’s work traces literary representations of the explorer, from Odysseus through Crusoe to Conrad, Melville, White, and Coetzee. For a young scholar launching into a full-time PhD, who is also the first Kenneth Reed Postgraduate Research Scholar, the topic could hardly be more apt.

At a lunch on 10 November in the Darlington Centre, Jonathan was able to thank Kenneth Reed in person for supporting his studies.

The Department of English applauds Kenneth Reed for his generosity in making possible not only Jonathan Dunk’s intellectual journey, but also that of the best young researchers of the future. They and the Department will continue to benefit from Kenneth’s marvellous gesture.
Words by Associate Professor Peter Marks

  • Nelson Meers Foundation - Leadership support of the Widening Participation project has assisted the Department of English long-term outreach program to inspire passionate students from local low SES (Socioeconomic Status) schools to study the subject.
  • The Terrence and Lynette Fern Cité Internationale des Arts Residency Fellowships - Named after the donors and University alumni Terrence Fern (BSc, DipEd) and Lynette Fern (BA, DipEd) will support recipients to attend the institution in Paris which houses over 300-400 creatives from around the world.
  • Equity Scholarships in History - Anonymous donation of $150,000 establishing the Equity Scholarships in History, targeting prospective students wanting to study a major in history.
  • The Gwen & David Moore Aboriginal Scholarship - thanks to a visionary testamentary trust worth over $850,000 in support of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students studying a major in Archaeology, Anthropology, History, or Sociology, with a focus on Aboriginal Heritage and Australian Pre-History.
  • Kenneth Reed, AM - A gift and bequest from Kenneth Reed, AM which will benefit postgraduate scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships in English Studies - to the tune of $4.5M.
Mr Kenneth Reed
  • John Whitehouse - Also an Arts / Law graduate – is making in Sydney’s exciting new Ancient North African and Phoenician Diaspora research network, and that alumna Sabrina Snow has made to sustain emerging scholarship in Asian art history. Other inspirational examples could be cited.
  • David Harold Tribe Prize for Fiction - Novelist and poet John A. Scott won the 2014 David Harold Tribe Prize for Fiction, part of a suite of five donated awards, several of which are within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
  • Sir Hermann Black Professor in Economics - Professor John Romalis is the first academic to hold the title of the Sir Hermann Black Professor in Economics, thanks to a very generous bequest.
  • The Merenda Scholarships - Frances Merenda dedicated her life to migrant welfare. At the beginning of 2009 she established to promote the study of Italian languages and culture, by giving students the opportunity to travel to Italy to pursue further study or research.
  • The William Ritchie Professor of Classics - The study of languages, literature, philosophy and civilization within the Department of Classics and Ancient History is receiving critical support thanks to a bequest from the late Professor Bill Ritchie.
  • Refugee Language Program - In 2012, the Pratt Foundation made a generous gift in order to secure the future of our Refugee Language Program for the next 3 years. Read more about this important and timely donation here and how it came about thanks to the financial lifeline provided by a private donor.
  • The Tom Austen Brown Fund For Pre-History - In 2011, Tom Austen Brown’s generous lifetime gifts culminated in his visionary bequest creating The Tom Austen Brown Fund For Pre-History, valued at close to $9 million. At a time when the Faculty is receiving more gifts than ever before, from those who strongly appreciate the value and impact of its academic programs, it is hugely encouraging when especially farsighted donors decide to provide transformational support through a bequest.
  • The Faculty is proud and grateful to report that it has been included in the estates of several alumni and friends. Mr John Gilbert, a loyal supporter of archaeology, cultural programs and the Fisher Library, bequeathed an extraordinarily generous $1.8M for scholarships and grants for undergraduate and postgraduate students. This endowed gift also provides financial assistance for travel including visits to libraries and archives, critical as students hone their research and scholarship. Ms Eulalia Hsu bequeathed over $100,000 to establish The Raymond Hsu Scholarship, providing support for postgraduate research in Chinese studies, literature and linguistics. Most spectacularly, alumna Miss Janet Hine, BA ’47, gifted $4M for the University. Her legacy will be used to establish a Chair in the Faculty in a relevant area of the humanities and social sciences for the new Charles Perkins Centre, which has been created to help tackle the challenges of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease in new and radically cross-disciplinary ways. We know that obesity and diabetes, for example, are as much cultural and political challenges as they are biomedical ones. Read more about Miss Hine’s extraordinary generosity in this Challis Bequest Society article.