Helping the dynamic young women of the future — Tracey Campbell (New Hall, 1980)
“Like the women who study here, our buildings are innovative and impressive,” says Fiona Duffy, Development Director of Murray Edwards College. “But even buildings that have won architectural awards need renovating from time to time to meet the needs of the next generation of students.”
In 2017, Murray Edwards contacted alumnae and friends of the College with the aim of raising sufficient funds to start work on Orchard Court, the College’s original accommodation block. Thanks to the support they received, work on Orchard Court began in the summer of 2018 with the renovation of F staircase. Further upgrade work is planned for the coming years.
Murray Edwards has definitely been a formative influence on my life and I want to make sure these opportunities remain available to the dynamic young women of the future.
It is hoped that the next generation of students will be able to look back fondly on their time living in Orchard Court in the same way that many alumnae do today.
Tracey Campbell (New Hall, 1980) reflects on her time at Cambridge and why she gave to the project:
“I remember Cambridge with great fondness — the good and even the occasional bad times. It was a privilege to be challenged by so many intelligent people. I sang in choirs, made costumes for five plays that went to the Edinburgh Fringe and attended a lot of parties as well as writing essays on the incest taboo and Marx.
None of that would have been possible without the flexibility of New Hall (as it then was) as I switched at the last minute from reading Natural Sciences to Anthropology. Several College tutors were inspirational, including the now late Sue Benson and Janet Moore who both pushed me towards opportunities I would never have dared to try without their support.
What I didn't appreciate enough at the time was how longstanding the friendships I made at College would be. Thirty-five years later several of the same numbers are still on my speed dial for advice, fact-checking or just a laugh. Murray Edwards has definitely been a formative influence on my life and I want to make sure these opportunities remain available to the dynamic young women of the future.
While still a young College by Cambridge standards, Murray Edwards needs to have its infrastructure upgraded to keep up with technological changes and become more eco-friendly. Wiring, plumbing and insulation aren't glamorous gifts but they are fundamental to keeping the doors open for the long term, which is what we all want.
I believe wholeheartedly in the College's mission to attract young women from all backgrounds and am lucky enough to be at a stage in my life when I can give something back. I've preferred occasional lump sum donations but, with Gift Aid, even a modest amount per month soon adds up. There are plenty of complex problems out there and the world needs educated women to step up with a bigger share of the solutions. I very much see donating to the College as investing in the supply chain of these future leaders.”
About Murray Edwards College
Murray Edwards College is one of two Colleges for women at the University. Founded as 'New Hall' in 1954, six years after the University began awarding women degrees, the College continues to welcome all outstanding young women of potential, no matter what their background, to the University of Cambridge. Its mission is to provide the best education for female students — making sure they get the most from Cambridge and, later, are supported to meet the challenges of the workplace. The College was renamed Murray Edwards College in 2008, following a significant donation from an alumna.
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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.