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Chancellors Circle Members Dinner, 2019

University Chancellor, Sir Thomas Allen, CBE Kt, hosted an annual dinner to celebrate the ever-expanding circle of philanthropists who want to give back to Durham University.

These events are an opportunity for the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and other senior members of the University to meet with Durham's pre-eminent philanthropists and celebrate the notable impact their commitment and support has on Durham University and our students. 

An Expanding Circle of Support

Members of the Chancellor's Circle make significant contributions to many projects across the University enhancing Durham's buildings and environment, contributing to research excellence and providing scholarship support to numerous students.

This year the Chancellor had the pleasure of welcoming five of our new members to the Chancellor's Circle. These included:

  • William (Arts Combined, Grey College, 1984-87) and Hilary Russell (Natural Sciences, St Mary's College 1984-87) (pictured to the right) who have created the Russell Family Scholarships for students at Grey and St Mary's Colleges;
  • Guy (History, College of St Hild and St Bede, 1986-89) and Sarah Weldon (History, Collingwood College, 1986-89) who fund the Weldon-le Huray Scholarships for Sports and Arts and Humanities;
  • Zoe (Chinese, Trevelyan College, 1984-88) and Dan Scheinman who support a range of personal development and career enhancing projects, in addition to being a key donor to the Students' Jewish Society (JSoc);
  • Jonathan Hazan (Computing, Hatfield College, 1988-91) who is helping to build a new Mathematics and Computer Science building, which will have an exciting Enterprise Hub within it;
  • Ian Buchanan (Physics, Grey College, 1982-85) whose gifts are helping to fund an increasing number of scholarships for gifted female students in technology subjects. 

We are humbled by the growing number of our donors who demonstrate their commitment to the University's future by giving at a level that enables them to become a member of this group.

Supporting Students 

One of the Russell Family Scholars, Charlotte Frazer (Geography, St Mary's College), spoke movingly at the event to share the impact that her scholarship was already having on her Durham experience. She was not the only current student to attend. Isabelle Tarsh (History, Collingwood College), President of the University's Jewish Society (JSoc) was delighted to meet new Chancellor's Circle members Zoe and Dan Scheinman.  And, Sir Christian and Lady Sweeting had an opportunity to catch up with Sweeting Fellow, Dr James Kelly, a research post they've generously funded in the Centre for Catholic Studies. 

Showcase of Durham's Talent 

This event provides a wonderful opportunity to showcase the musical talent of our students and alumni. Another highlight was the performance from Northern Lights a capella group (pictured below). Please visit their website to view their performances and some memorable Durham scenes.

Impact - CC Northern Lights

Guests also enjoyed performances from gifted alumni cellist Clare Durgan (Music, St Mary's College, 2012-15) and pianist Will Ford (Music, Josephine Butler College, 2013-16) and had the rare privilege of our internationally famous Chancellor, Sir Tom Allen's rendition of Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin' from Oklahoma! A similar performance by Sir Tom can be viewed here.

Thank You

The Durham family of researchers, students and lecturers remain profoundly grateful for the inspiring expertise, care and financial support of our friends in the Chancellor's Circle.

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"There’s a beauty in our connection to the university and the great city of Durham. That, we all acknowledge. But there’s something very poignant I believe in our meetings away from home, usually in the finery of one London room or another, when we can confirm once more, why Durham University and its colleges were important to us then, and remain so to this day."

Sir Thomas Allen, OBE Kt, Chancellor of Durham University

Impact - CC Hilary Russell
"William [Russell] and I are both passionate about Durham and are determined to do our bit to ensure that Durham University continues to thrive and maintain its reputation as one of the great universities of the world."

Hilary Russell (Natural Sciences, St Mary's College, 1984-87) introducing Russell Family Scholar Charlotte Frazer

Impact - CC Charlotte_Frazer
"...there are hundreds of students from a similar background to me who have a lot of drive but not enough fuel. Therefore, I would love to take this opportunity to publicly thank the Russell family for investing in me."

Charlotte Frazer, speaking at the event (Russell Family Scholar, Geography, St Mary's College)

Chancellor's Appeal

The Impact of your Support

We are incredibly grateful for the gifts we receive from our alumni and supporters. See how your donation has helped support the University and our projects.

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Meet the Scholars

Meet some of this year's new scholars who are at the beginning of their Durham journey and discover the impact our donor's generosity is already having on their Durham experience.

Meet the Scholars


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Support Durham in any of our current projects. From research and academic endeavours to all aspects of student experience as well as projects in your college. 

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