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Charitable bequests

Leave a lasting impact
By leaving a charitable bequest in your will, you can make your passion your legacy. A bequest ensures your memory will be honoured through practical support for education and research.

What is a charitable bequest?

A charitable bequest is a gift left in your will for a general or a specific purpose. A will bequest may include gifts of:

  • the residuary of an estate
  • a percentage of an estate
  • a specific sum of money
  • a particular asset such as real estate, works of art, or shares.

By making a charitable bequest to the University of Sydney in your will, you have the opportunity to make an enduring contribution to the advancement of our teaching, research and learning. The gift will also honour you, your family or someone close to you, for generations to come.

Informing the University of your bequest

By recording your bequest with the University, you allow us to recognise and thank you for your future contribution. To demonstrate our gratitude, we invite you to join our Challis Bequest Society. As a member, you will be granted access to a range 
of benefits – from exclusive member events and behind-the-scenes tours to regular updates on our latest milestones and discoveries.

To document your bequest, or if you would like more information about leaving a gift to the University in your will, no matter how big or small, please contact our Planned Giving team.

Challis Bequest Society

In 1890 John Henry Challis gave an everlasting gift as the first great benefactor of the University. More than 125 years on, his gift still inspires engineering marvels, literary classics, legal reforms, historic discoveries, philosophical insights and medical advances.

Named in is honour, the Challis Bequest Society recognises alumni and friends who choose to leave a bequest to the University.

Read the latest Challis Bequest Society newsletter.

A personal reflection by donor John Hooke CBE

Bequests transform the University

  • 1852

    38 students enrolled and 38 staff including three professors.
  • 1880

    John Henry Challis' transformative bequest funded the University’s first professorships in Law, Medicine, Veterinary Science, Biology, Engineering, English, History and Philosophy. Amount: £276,000 (valued at more than $45 million in 2016)
  • 1891

    Sir William Macleay bequeathed the family’s natural history collection and funds to employ a curator for the Macleay Museum. Amount: £6000 for the natural history museum
  • 1920

    Samuel McCaughey's bequest came at a crucial time during the Depression years of the 1930s. Amount: The University received about one-third of the estate valued at £1 million (more than $23 million in 2016)
  • 1928

    George Henry Bosch funded research and the creation of chairs in Medicine, Surgery and Bacteriology and opened the way for support from the Rockefeller Foundation. Amount: £227,000
  • 1962

    Eleanor Wood's bequest funded travelling scholarships and enabled the establishment of the Sydney University Press. Amount: £415,000 (more than $11 million in 2016)
  • 2011

    The Nancy Roma Paech bequest for agriculture funds scholarships and an academic chair in Range Science in the University’s Centre for Carbon, Water and Food. Amount: $8.7 million
  • 2013

    The William Arthur Martin a’Beckett Cancer Research Trust supports cancer research, with a particular emphasis on bowel cancer research at the Charles Perkins Centre. Amount: $14.9 million
  • 2016

    More than 56,700 students enrolled and over 7920 staff including 3655 academic.