St Andrews University has received a cash windfall of over £1 million from a former student to be used to establish two new research postgraduate scholarships in the arts.
Gordon Bonnyman, who graduated with an MA in modern history and political economy from St Andrews in 1966 and is chairman of Charterhouse Capital Partners, has donated the money, which will become part of the St Andrews endowment, providing an annual scholarship income in perpetuity.
The scholarships will provide support of at least £20,000 per annum to each student to cover tuition fees and living expenses and will be payable for a period of study of up to three years.
Mr Bonnyman’s brother, Douglas, is also a St Andrews alumnus and the scholarships will be known as The Douglas and Gordon Bonnyman Scholarships in the Arts.
The awards will be open to students from any country reading for a PhD in any arts or humanities subject.
Glasgow-born, Mr Bonnyman graduated from St Andrews and then Columbia University in New York, before embarking on a career in the City. Charterhouse Capital is now one of the most successful private equity firms in Europe.
The university hopes to welcome its first Bonnyman scholars later this year and principal and vice-chancellor Professor Louise Richardson said: ”I am delighted by Gordon’s generous gift to our 600th anniversary campaign.
“A major focus of our campaign is to attract and support the best students irrespective of financial means.
“Thanks to this gift we will be able to support for many generations to come, two research students in the arts and humanities, an area where we rank in the top 25 in the world.”
She added: “The gift will contribute to the realisation of two of our strategic aims - to build the university’s endowment and to increase the number of research postgraduates at St Andrews.
“Gordon has ensured that today’s students can have access to the same high quality of education he enjoyed at St Andrews, and I hope his commitment will inspire other alumni to support our campaign.”
Professor Dina Iordanova, university provost, added: ”The gift will benefit aspiring doctoral students in the arts.
“It will assist us in ensuring that humanities at St Andrews, ranked among the top in the world, keep working to global standards of excellence.”
The university’s 600th anniversary fundraising campaign was formally launched in 2011 by Prince William, its patron, and aims to raise £100 million to support new developments across science, the arts, medicine and divinity and to create new scholarships for students.