Mary Beard gift to Classics inspires further support

Mary Beard gift to Classics inspires further support

  • Classics undergraduate Zaynab Ahmed
    Classics undergraduate Zaynab Ahmed (Newnham, 2018)

Joyce Reynolds Awards to support underrepresented Classics students bolstered by a new gift.

Karen and Peter Ventress have made a generous gift to further support our efforts to encourage more diversity among students studying Classics at Cambridge, after hearing about Professor Mary Beard's 'retirement present'.

Karen and Peter have made a gift of £40k to fund a further studentship under the banner of the Joyce Reynolds Awards. The Awards, named by Professor Mary Beard, in honour of her own Classics Tutor, will pay the £10k a year living costs of undergraduates from minority ethnic groups and low-income homes for the full duration of their degree courses.

Inspired by Mary’s decision to make a retirement gift to the Faculty to support students, Karen and Peter said “We wholeheartedly believe that Classics must be supported and must be open to all. It is such an amazing subject. To that end we’d like to help Mary’s project and enable another student to study Classics.”

Mary commented “I am absolutely delighted that Karen and Peter have contributed so generously to the Joyce Reynolds awards. This makes such a difference to those who may feel anxious about taking on such a big debt, especially in COVID and post-COVID times.”

Remarking on the Joyce Reynolds Awards, Newnham student Zaynab Ahmed said: “I was lucky enough to attend a state grammar that offered Classics/Latin, but it isn’t something that’s taught in many state schools which means a lot of BAME students aren’t exposed to the subject and the opportunities it offers. That’s why the four-year course here is so important, with the preliminary year as a foundation, and these gifts will hopefully mean more students from under-represented groups feel able to apply.”

Adapted from a news story published by the Faculty of Classics

To learn more about supporting the Faculty of Classics, please contact:

Elizabeth Brent

Associate Director — Arts and Humanities

+44 (0)1223 762891

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The Faculty of Classics is committed to advancing research and teaching in all aspects of Classical culture and its reception at the very highest level, it is the intellectual home of some of the best-known Classicists, and of an increasingly diverse body of outstanding graduate students and exceptionally talented undergraduates.

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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.