Time, talent or treasure
Thanks to a generous donation by philanthropist Jennie Thomas, researcher Dr Frances Kay-Lambkin developed an innovative program to treat depression and alcohol and substance abuse.
Kay-Lambkin’s groundbreaking research has been recognised locally, nationally and internationally.
A long-time supporter of the University of Newcastle Foundation, Thomas’ philosophy is simple.
"I like to give with a warm hand and a warm heart," Thomas said. "It has been a joy to watch so many recipients develop and grow as they achieve their dreams.
"I have had the pleasure of being part of the lives of so many in various fields of endeavour."
Thomas is just one of the University’s many generous contributors who give time, talent or treasure to advance research, the community and the University itself.
University Foundation Executive Officer Dr Bernie Curran said there were many ways philanthropists gave their support to help students and to keep tradition, continuity and memory alive.
"There is such goodwill in this community from people who want to see great things flowing from the University," Curran said.
"People give in many ways. Some donate money towards book prizes or scholarships. Others offer their time to sit on one of our many committees."
When graduate Kevin Hoffman, now an architect and Commissioner in the Land and Environment Court, wanted to give something back to the University he endowed the Kevin Hoffman Prize in Urban Design for final-year architecture students.
Kelver Hartley was the Foundation Professor of French at the University. On retirement Hartley sold off nearly everything he owned and donated his books to the University library. However, the most startling news came on his death.
He had bequeathed all he had to the University’s Frenchdepartment, creating the Hartley. Bequest Program that provides students the financial assistance to complete part of their studies in France.
The Bequest – which is in the millions of dollars – is considered among one of the most prestigious in the world.
"Then there are business people who support a specialty industry professiorial position so they can have input into the discipline,"Curran said.
"We have also been given amazing collections of items, such as a unique collection of insects from around the world, which give the University valuable access for research and other study."
Curran said he believed the University received such generosity because the community had a deep respect for education.
"There is a growing realisationthat a lot can be achieved through supporting the University," he said.
"People give because education and research can make a difference. They give because they care about a cause and want to add something to the University that will benefit the community."
Curran said each year the University Foundation received donations that supported research, academic positions, scholarships, prizes and endowment funds.
"At the heart of every donation we receive lies affection, respect and a belief in our University and how it enhances people’s lives."