Friends raise record amount for scholarships

Friday, 15 September 2017


The biennial book fair organised by the Friends of the University of Newcastle will help shape lives.

The Friends of the University of Newcastle held their biennial Book Fair last month and raised a record $96,000 for student scholarships.

Over half a million donated books were put on sale, gathered and sorted by a team of volunteers from the Friends. The huge ‘pop-up’ bookshop filled the Great Hall for a week as thousands of staff, students and community members came to purchase books, textbooks, records, CDs and other items.

The Friends of the University of Newcastle was founded in 1981 to provide a means of contact between retired University staff, alumni, members of the community and the University. Since the first Fair 34 years ago, the organisation has raised around $1 million for the University, supporting a range of projects to benefit staff, students and researchers. The Friends currently fund nine scholarships and the money raised from the Book Fair will continue to support these scholarships.

President of the Friends, Mr John McLaughlin, said this record fundraising effort was a wonderful result for the small group of workers who spent two years preparing for the event, led by Book Fair Convenor, Mrs Meg Levi.

‘We are so grateful to the Friends of the University for their support,’ said Rebecca Hazell, Director of Advancement. ‘It is a huge undertaking to organise an event like this, and they do it so well. We are also grateful to everyone who attended and supported the Book Fair. Scholarships really do change the lives of our students, enabling them to benefit from a University education which may otherwise not be possible.’

Alana Thomson, one of the Friends of the University scholars said, ‘The scholarship will make a huge difference to me to be able to continue my studies and apply my efforts to maintain high grades. I am very grateful and appreciate the efforts and generosity of all those involved’.