The Master (or Keeper) And Fellows Of Peterhouse In The University Of Cambridge
For over 700 years Peterhouse has made a remarkable contribution to the society of which it is a part. It has done so through the generosity and support of those who have themselves been educated here, or who have found something in the life, work and educational purposes of Peterhouse that commands their enthusiasm and kindles the will to help. This is a pattern that goes back to the first great act of benefaction by the Founder, Hugo de Balsham, in 1284.
Yet this small College, rooted in continuity, is at the same time a centre of innovation, across a spectrum of subjects from the most evidently practical to the most apparently esoteric. The computer takes its inspiration from Charles Babbage. Lord Kelvin brought electric light to the College second only to the Houses of Parliament, to mark Peterhouse’s 600th anniversary in 1884. Sir Frank Whittle and Christopher Cockerill gave the world the jet engine and the hovercraft. All were Petreans. Four Petrean scientific Nobel Laureates – Sir John Kendrew, Sir Aaron Klug, Archer Martin, and Max Perutz – gave a twentienth century lead in Molecular Biology.
The Development Campaign supports Peterhouse as a special and historic place (buildings, facilities), as a community of people (student support, music, cultural and sporting opportunities) and as a home of education and intellectual life (Fellowships, Research Fellowships, prizes, research grants). Some £15 million has been generated since the Development Campaign was launched in 2004 with an initial target of £18 million.
Campaign achievements to date include: the expansion of the Ward Library; the renovation of the William Stone Building; the creation of M Staircase (the first stage of the extension of Gisborne Court); the restoration of the Hall and the commitment of funding to restore the Combination Room; two College Fellowships have been endowed in perpetuity and significant new funds have been established to help undergraduates and graduate students suffering financial hardship.
The top-up fees introduced since October 2006 for students themselves lead them to graduate with increasing levels of debt, yet the College derives little benefit from the new arrangements – the University absorbs by far the greatest part of the increased fees centrally to make up for cuts in central govenrment funding. So the new arrangements make things markedly worse for students, but no better for the College whose duty it is to support and educate them and their successors.
So even £18 million will not be enough to meet the Colleges needs going forward: the development effort will be a continuing reality embraced by the College. And, while legacies are tremendously good news for the College's long-term future, there is also a pressing need for cash for priority projects such as the new building in Gisborne Court and the refurbishment of the Chapel organ.
A gift of any size to the Development Campaign will help to enrich the experience of Peterhouse students today and secure the future of the College for future generations.