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1988-92 Bursary Appeal update

10th June 2021

The pandemic may have disrupted our plans to hold the 1988 – 92 Reunion Dinner last July, but we are delighted to have a new date in the diary for this group to celebrate their reunion at College on Saturday 18th September 2021.

In 2020 we also invited our 1988 – 92 reunion group to mark their reunion year by clubbing together to provide financial support for students at the College today. The plan was to raise enough money across all five year groups to create an endowed fund that would fund one full undergraduate bursary for a Churchill student every year for as long as the College exists.

Despite having to put the original campaign on hold, over £25,000 was raised in the first few months, and we are now re-launching the bursary appeal in the hope that we can achieve the £100,000 goal across the five year reunion group. This amount, when endowed in perpetuity, would generate between £3,500 and £4,000 per year, which would fund one undergraduate student for a year with a full means-tested bursary. This creation of an endowed 1988-92 Bursary would leave a lasting legacy at the College by creating an endowed fund that would provide a student with the same educational opportunity enjoyed by previous generations of students.

Why participate?
The best and brightest students should feel able to apply to Churchill and benefit from the exceptional education experience here, without debilitating financial concerns. Together the 1988 – 92 year groups can help make this happen! If everyone contributes even a relatively small amount, we will be able to make a big difference as a group to current students at Churchill.

Every individual donation of any size will help us reach our target. If 150 alumni across the five year groups were to commit to donating £15 per month for three years (or a one-off amount of £500), with gift aid that makes just over £100,000. This amount, when endowed, would generate between £3,500 and £4,000 per year which would fund one student for a year with a full bursary.

Churchill has always been a pioneer with an exceptionally proud tradition of access to higher education. The College regularly gives out more offers to state-educated students than any other Oxbridge College. Our most disadvantaged students continue to thrive here because of the individual support and targeted bursary funding they receive. If you would like to support 1988 – 92 Bursary you can make a gift via the College website by selecting the fund from the drop-down list, or you can make your donation via the College’s crowdfunding platform where each year group has its own fundraising project page.

Donate online 
Crowdfunding project page

If you are in the UK, your gift will be increased by 25% if you pay tax at the basic rate, and there are other tax incentives for higher-rate payers. The same is true of those based in the USA where the College can receive gifts tax-efficiently through Cambridge in America, or in Canada where gifts to the College and University are tax-deductible.

Donate via Cambridge in America


Support in action

Read all about the experience of one our current undergraduate students, Katie Thacker (U19) who has benefited from receiving bursary support since coming to Churchill.


Hi! I’m Katie, and I’m a second year studying History at Churchill. I’m particularly interested in both global history and modern British social history – I especially find studying about topics, such as class and gender, which are really close to my heart incredibly interesting, insightful and empowering. I’m originally from the exotic lands of Essex (although I sadly no longer have the accent!) I’m from a low-income background and I’m the first person in my family to attend university.

Before coming to Cambridge, I attended a local state grammar school. It was there I decided I wanted to attend university, although Cambridge felt like an unachievable pipe dream until after I received my GCSE results. I was very privileged to have some incredible teachers (shout out to Mrs Sanderson and Mrs Davidson!) who really helped me to love my subject and gave me the confidence to believe I could study it at university, without whom I definitely wouldn’t be here!

Since coming to Cambridge, I have received financial support in the form of the university-wide Cambridge Bursary and this is topped up with the Winston Churchill Top-Up Bursary. Receiving financial support from Churchill College has made all the difference to my time here. Money was a huge worry from me from the moment we received our offers, due to the high advance deposit required and the fact we’re unable to have a part-time job alongside our degree. The bursary has enabled me to cope when unexpected additional costs have cropped up, such as laptop repairs or replacing my bike when it got stolen, as well as helping me to afford to stay at college for parts of the holidays to study, due to a lack of study space at home.

It has also helped me to fully participate in life at Churchill and in Cambridge. From being able to afford membership of the societies I wanted to join, such as the Cambridge Union to affording to take part in formals and May week events alongside my friends. It’s also the small things, like being able to say yes to grabbing lunch with a friend you made in fresher’s week without having to worry about if you can afford it, or if you should just have lunch at home, that have made all the difference to my time here and enabled me to grab all the opportunities that have come my way. The bursary has removed the stress of having to constantly worry about money and has allowed me to focus on the important things and I will always be grateful for this.

I’ve had the best time at Churchill College so far. I really appreciate the lack of expectations to be a certain type of person, or to fit a certain mould. Before coming to Cambridge, you very much have a perception of who the typical Cambridge student looks like, but within days of arriving at Churchill I realised this isn’t true. There’s no archaic rules or procedures to follow, and the relaxed environment at Churchill has helped me to feel comfortable with who am I without feeling like I need to change parts of myself to fit in. I like that it’s slightly out of the centre, away from the tourists and the grand architecture. It’s such a different (and less imposing!) atmosphere that coming back home after lectures feels like taking a sigh of relief. And my second favourite thing is Blazing Saddles, the on-site bike shop, which has saved my life (or bike!) more times than I can count.

I’m now half-way through my degree, which is a very scary thought! My plans after graduation are still somewhat up in the air, but something I’m really interested in going into is Journalism. I’m currently the Editor-in-chief for the Tab Cambridge, a student newspaper and writing for the Tab has really helped develop my passion for journalism – in particular news reporting and interviews – and so this is something I’m considering going into after graduating,. However, because being indecisive is a key element of my personality, I’m also considering a career in public policy and working with NGOs to help influence government policy, for example in relation to education or poverty as these are matters which are very close to my heart. If this is the case, I’d love to do a masters in either policy or history (I’m 50% of the way through my degree but it still interests me more and more every week!) although much of this depends on being able to secure funding. The pipedream is to work at the UN one day, but I think there might be a bit of time before that!

My time at Churchill has been made by receiving financial support from the College. However, for every student like me who has benefitted from receiving financial support from Churchill there’s multiple students who have had applications for bursaries or hardship grants rejected because there aren’t the funds available. The reality is many students at Churchill struggle financially and I promise you that whatever support you’re able to provide the college – however big or small – will have real, tangible impacts on students here.

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