The First 500 have established their own fund to commemorate their role as Kent’s founding students, aiming to raise £100,000 to support students at Kent today.
The goal of the First 500 Fund is to support a series of bursaries for Kent students to allow them to have the same opportunities that the First 500 enjoyed: a University experience free from financial worry. Currently, the First 500 Fund has raised an impressive £48,000 and it is hoped to increase this significantly by the end of the 50th anniversary year in 2015.
"Raising £100,000 by September 2015 would provide a fitting tribute to the role Kent played in shaping our lives and, by establishing a Bursary, make a valuable contribution to its future success."
You may not be in a position to donate now, but may be able to remember the University in your will, in the form of a legacy in favour of the First 500 Fund. If, with a combination of donations and pledged legacies, the Fund can meet its £100,000 target by the end of the 50th anniversary year, a ‘First 500 Bursary” can be launched, knowing that it will be able to continue into the future.
It is hoped that the First 500 Fund will allow our pioneers to leave a legacy which celebrates their contribution to Kent over the past half-century, and to establish something which will take the University forward into its next 50 years.
At the group’s most recent annual dinner, the group decided that the fund should support, in addition to the series of bursaries, a select group of projects to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the University.
The Master of Eliot College, Stephen Burke, will improve the appearance of Eliot Cloister and make it more central to the life of the College. The Fund will provide up to £5000 to establish a permanent record of the arrival of the First 500, incorporating some of the iconic photographs of the group’s arrival on campus.
History students have volunteered to research and record the early history of the University as part of the 50th anniversary History Projects. This will primarily be funded by the University, but it is possible that a small amount of funding will be needed to complete projects in subsequent years. The First 500 have agreed to make up to £3000 available for up to two years after 2015 to support agreed History Projects. Any funds not used in this time would remain in the main Fund.
The 50th anniversary will see a commemorative pathway, to be known as the Crab & Winkle Path, which will recognise the contribution of a huge range of individuals to the life of the University. The founding donors to the First 500 Fund have been recognised with personalised bricks.