David Harding, a physics graduate from Cambridge and British financier, announced £100m donation to help and attract the most talented undergraduate and postgraduate students from the UK and abroad.
The University of Cambridge is celebrating the largest single donation as it is the biggest single gift to an English university by a British philanthropist.
David Harding, 57, who became a billionaire businessman who founded hedge fund firm Winton, and his wife Claudia, a trustee of the Science Museum Foundation, have made the unprecedented donation.
The aim is to promote access for students from disadvantaged and minority ethnic backgrounds and encourage applications from under-represented groups.
David Harding said: “Claudia and I are very happy to make this gift to Cambridge to help to attract future generations of the world’s outstanding students to research and study there.
“Cambridge and other British centers of learning have down the ages contributed greatly to improvements in the human condition and can continue in future to address humanity’s great challenges.”
The gift will help provide fully funded scholarships for more than 100 PhD students through a new postgraduate scholars programme from October, supported by £79m, £25m of which will go to St Catharine’s College, where Mr. Harding studied natural sciences.
“This extraordinarily generous gift from David and Claudia Harding will be invaluable in sustaining Cambridge’s place among the world’s leading universities and will help to transform our offer to students,” said Stephen Toope, Cambridge’s vice-chancellor.
“Scholarships will be available to the most talented students for research in any discipline and the successful candidates will be offered places at applicable Cambridge colleges,” the university said in a statement.