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President of Business Alumni Network backs INSPIRED Campaign with significant donation

23 Jul 2014


Professor Michael Biercuk with Hugh and Anne Harley

Scientific research that could one day produce a superfast computer or a revolutionary way of generating energy has been given a major boost with a substantial donation from the President of the Business School's Alumni Network, Hugh Harley, and his wife, Anne.

The couple's gift of $500,000 to the University's Quantum Control Laboratory contributes to INSPIRED - the Campaign to Support the University of Sydney which aims to raise $600 million to fund the pursuit of ideas that will shape the world in which we live.

Mr Harley, a member of the INSPIRED Campaign board, has previously given to the Business School's own Inspired by Business Program which identifies talented students living in disadvantaged areas and helps to pave their way into university.

Mr and Mrs Harley say they have donated to the Quantum Control Laboratory in an effort to bridge the gap between science and business.

"In a globalised world, Australia will rise and fall by the quality of its private and public institutions and support for universities is critical for that success," said Mr Harley who is an adjunct professor with the Business School.

"If Australia is to remain competitive, it needs to be at the forefront of scientific research and commercialisation so I'm especially keen to break down barriers between the business and science communities," he said.

Mr Harley, who is a financial services leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers Australia, was elected as the first President of the Business School's newly formed Business Alumni Network in September last year.

"I believe that Universities are ultimately about communities and the success of a university really does need two way communications between itself and the community. Alumni are a way to do that," he said at the time of his election. "People can support the University in all sorts of different ways and, of course, the University can support its alumni."

Mr and Mrs Harley have long believed that philanthropy has a crucial role to play in supporting the University in an increasingly competitive financial environment.