Inspiring success at the 1850 Society Cocktail Reception

On Thursday 26 February, the University of Sydney celebrated the impact of the 1850 Society – loyal individuals and organisations who support the University annually. More than 100 guests joined University leadership at the Charles Perkins Centre where they heard from guest speakers Professor Steve Simpson, Academic Director of the Charles Perkins Centre and Dr Samantha Solon-Biet, a postdoctoral research fellow who shared her research findings on healthy ageing. Guests also enjoyed entertainment from Sydney Conservatorium of Music recent graduate and guitarist.

Last year, the 1850 Society raised 3.4 million dollars. Referred to as a “living endowment” by Chancellor Belinda Hutchinson AM, this is the equivalent of having 75 million dollars invested.

The Chancellor also highlighted her personal connection to philanthropy at the University, “I hope you get as much personal reward as my husband and I have from our giving to our University. We have signed up for the Inspired by Business scholarships program for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Having had the opportunity to meet some of these scholarship winners I feel blessed. They are outstanding young people – articulate, smart, concerned about their communities and wanting to make a real difference through their work while they are at University and when they leave.”

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Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Michael Spence, spoke of the immediate impact members’ gifts have –a common theme throughout the evening.

At the event we were able to share the impact of the following programs supporting by 1850 Society members during 2014.

  • The path to university for 202 students from disadvantaged schools or families was made easier thanks to our Early Offer Year 12 (E12) scheme.
  • The Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s Open Academy awarded 27 Rising Stars Scholarships, providing young students with access to training and performance and development opportunities.
  • 10,000 school students were inspired by incredible art and culture at the University of Sydney’s museums and art gallery.
  • Every two years 150 of the world’s most aspiring young scientists in Years 11 and 12 attend the University of Sydney’s International Science School, furthering their passion for science.
  • The University of Sydney Law School awarded more than 114 prizes and scholarships, allowing students to fully focus on their studies.
  • Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness (SUSF) added a mezzanine floor to the new grandstand project on oval No 2, allowing the University and SUSF to plan and design an improved building.