Over £400,000 raised in memory of alumnus Ian Mason to fund new Foundation Year scholarships

Over £400,000 raised in memory of alumnus Ian Mason to fund new Foundation Year scholarships

  • Left: Group of students sitting and talking with Cambridge Foundation Year logo overlaid. Right: Headshot of Ian Mason

Ian Mason (Pembroke 1984), was CEO of Domestic & General (‘D&G’), the appliance care specialist, between 2016-2021. Ian very sadly died suddenly and unexpectedly in April 2021. Friends and family, D&G and its employees as well as the private equity firm CVC and its philanthropic foundation have given generously in his honour.

The funds raised are being donated to support scholarships for talented but disadvantaged students — with an emphasis on those from the North East of England — who gain a place on the Foundation Year at the University of Cambridge.

The money raised will directly support at least 14 new Ian Mason Foundation Year Scholars over a 5 to 10-year timeframe — with the first beneficiaries joining a 50 strong intake in the academic year starting October 2022.

The University of Cambridge’s Foundation Year aims to reach students who have faced educational disadvantage and may have been prevented from making a competitive application to attend. The scholarships offer a new route to Cambridge and ensure that the Foundation Year can be completed at no personal cost. Full support of living and course costs for a single student in the first Foundation Year cohort costs approximately £28,500.

Jaqi Mason, Ian’s wife, said: “Words cannot express how much we miss Ian, but I know he would be honoured to have this scholarship bear his name. I’d like to thank everyone who has donated so generously to this programme, and specifically to the many wonderful employees at D&G and CVC for everything they have done for me and the family over recent months.”

David Tyler (Trinity Hall 1971), Chairman of D&G said: “Ian was a very popular CEO. This is demonstrated by the immense generosity of everyone who has donated towards funding Foundation Year scholarships at Cambridge. Ian was proud of his Northern roots and was acutely aware of the professional launchpad time at Cambridge had given him. So I’m delighted we have been able to support a new philanthropic initiative that will give other disadvantaged students from the North East a similar and potentially life-changing opportunity.”

Peter Rutland (Girton 1997), Managing Partner at CVC, added: “Ian leaves behind an inspiring legacy and CVC is proud to honour his memory in partnership with Domestic & General and the University of Cambridge. We hope these scholarships help to give young people from less privileged backgrounds the chance to progress on a successful and rewarding career path.”

Dr Alex Pryce, Course Director of the Foundation Year, said: “The Cambridge Foundation Year has been made possible by philanthropy. The Ian Mason Scholars will benefit very practically from this generosity, but they will also be inspired to receive a scholarship named in his honour. We hope it will motivate them to leave a similar positive legacy, and give them a model of someone, like them, whose life was changed for the better by the University. We are so grateful for the generosity of CVC, D&G, and Ian’s friends and family, which will support Ian Mason Foundation Year scholars at Cambridge for years to come.”

Support the Cambridge Foundation Year in memory of Ian Mason

If you would like to support this fund in memory of Ian Mason, you can make a gift online now or to learn more about the Foundation Year and to discuss your philanthropic objectives, please contact:

Nathaniel Wright

Associate Director — Student Support


Make a gift now

Make a gift now to support In memory of Ian Mason — the Cambridge Foundation Year by credit or debit card, or set up a direct debit:

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Philanthropic giving is at the heart of the success of the Collegiate University, enabling us to make discoveries that change the world and to ensure that our students receive an unrivalled education. Cambridge owes its world-leading excellence in research and teaching to the generosity of its supporters. Our history is synonymous with a history of far-sighted benefaction, and the same is as true today as it has ever been.