Many Birkbeck alumni, supporters and their families have generously decided to remember the College in their wills. In November 2018, the Master of Birkbeck Professor David Latchman CBE invited the College’s alumni to Birkbeck to tell them more about the positive impact that gifts in wills have on the College community. The Master hosted alumni and supporters for Afternoon Tea at Malet Street where guests had the opportunity to hear from faculty and students.
From 2016-2018, Birkbeck received £2.5m from gifts in wills. Such kind gifts have enabled Birkbeck to continue its mission: to provide further education that is high-quality and flexible for working Londoners.
‘It is so important that people like myself are given a chance to fulfil our potential and create value for society in the present and future. I believe Birkbeck stands alone in its mission to provide the highest quality education to everybody, regardless of age, background or gender’.
During the afternoon, Birkbeck student Christine Ozolins spoke to alumni about the difference that a bequest made to her student experience. After completing her BSc degree in Psychology at Birkbeck, Christine continued her studies by enrolling for the MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology at Birkbeck.
Halfway through her MSc, Christine’s marriage broke up, and she questioned whether she could afford to continue her studies. Christine said: ‘With the financial burden of having to support myself and also pay my fees I knew I would not be able to continue my studies. I had received a distinction for all my first year modules and I was heartbroken at the thought that I might not be able to continue’.
It was at this point that Christine was awarded the Constance Kenway Scholarship. The late Mrs Constance Kenway generously remembered Birkbeck in her will, and her gift now offers financial support for postgraduate psychology students facing financial hardship.
Christine will graduate from Birkbeck with her MSc Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology with Distinction. She plans to start a PhD.
Christine explained: ‘It is so important that people like myself are given a chance to fulfil our potential and create value for society in the present and future. I believe Birkbeck stands alone in its mission to provide the highest quality education to everybody, regardless of age, background or gender’.
More than 200 alumni and supporters have informed us of their intent to remember Birkbeck in their wills, and many hundreds more have registered their interest to receive further information. Birkbeck is incredibly grateful to have such kind alumni who want to invest in Birkbeck students.
The Afternoon Tea was a wonderful opportunity for some of these supporters to find out more about how gifts in wills benefit students like Christine. Gifts of every size have a lasting impact and help to ensure that Birkbeck’s high-quality teaching and world-class research continue to serve future generations of students.
If you are curious about learning more about remembering Birkbeck with a gift in your will, please get in touch with the Development & Alumni Team by calling Kara McMahon on 020 7380 3187 or sending an email to email@example.com.
If you would like to read Christine Ozolins’ speech in its entirety, you may do so here.