Alumni and supporters

College of Benefactors Inductees 2014

Furthering Impact | Developing Research | Providing Opportunity

On Thursday 10 July 2014 the following benefactors were admitted to the College of Benefactors during Graduation. We thank all of these donors for their exceptional support for the University of Reading and welcome them to the College of Benefactors.

Sir John Madejski OBE DL

Sir John Madejski was installed as Chancellor of the University in 2007, the continuation of a distinguished relationship with the University.  Sir John is patron of the John Madejski Centre for Reputation at the University's Henley Business School, and was also a supporter of the new Agriculture Building in 2000, after which the Madejski Theatre is named.  As Chancellor, Sir John has championed the contribution of Reading students to the local community through the Student Community Awards, and has played his own part in an on-going research project, jointly conducted by the John Madejski Centre for Reputation and the Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics at the University, to investigate what makes successful business leaders. In 2000, he was awarded the OBE and was knighted in the 2009 New Year Honours list for his services to charity.

The late Professor Wallace Hirst and Mrs Muriel Hirst MBE

Mrs Hirst has been associated with the University of Reading for more than 40 years, firstly as a secretary in the Department of Cybernetics, and subsequently as wife of the late Wallace Hirst, a Professor in Engineering.  Together they initiated an annual scholarship enabling students from the developing world to study for a master’s degree in either agriculture and international development or in renewable energy.  The fund is endowed to ensure a full scholarship and stipend will be available to future generations. To date, the University has welcomed 20 scholars from countries including the Gambia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, South Sudan, Uganda and Zimbabwe.  Many have gone on to take senior and influential roles in the development of their countries and credit Mrs Hirst with transforming their lives.  Mrs Hirst was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2013.  

John Nike OBE DL 

John Nike has been a long-standing friend and supporter of the University. The Nike Lecture Theatre, created as part of the new Agriculture Building Appeal in 2000, is used by more than 2,000 students a week during term time.  Since 2009, the annual John Nike Sports Scholarship has provided financial and coaching support to a student athlete who shows the potential to compete in a future Olympic Games. Most recently, he has contributed to the new Centre for Cardiovascular Imaging, due to be launched later in 2014.  John Nike was awarded an OBE in the 2002 New Year Honours list.

The Wolfson Foundation

The Wolfson Foundation has a distinguished track record of supporting excellence in a wide range of research, scholarship and teaching at the University.  Over the last 25 years, the Foundation has supported the appeal for the new Agriculture Building; the new Centre for Cardiovascular Imaging, to be launched later in 2014; and, in conjunction with the Royal Society, the Wolfson Nanoscience Laboratory and several Research Merit Awards for some of the University's leading researchers.   The Wolfson Foundation was established in 1955 by Sir Isaac Wolfson, his wife, and their son Leonard (later Lord Wolfson of Marylebone and Chairman between 1972 and 2010).   By 2013, the Foundation had awarded over £750 million in grants (in excess of £1.2 billion in real terms) to more than 10,000 projects in science & medicine, the arts & humanities, education, and health & disability. Sir Michael Pepper (Physics, 1963) is a Trustee of the Foundation. 

The International Capital Market Association (ICMA)

The ICMA Centre at the University of Reading was founded in 1991 through a unique collaboration between the University and the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) which started with the establishment of the Chair of Investment Banking and the launch of the Masters in International Securities, Investment and Banking. In 2005 the ICMA supported the University with a £5 million gift to expand the Centre’s teaching facilities and add new dealing and seminar rooms. The ICMA (formally International Securities Market Association) is the self-regulatory organisation and trade association representing the investment banks and securities firms issuing and trading in the international capital market worldwide. Their members are located in over 50 countries across the globe, including all the world's main financial centres. 

The British Land Company plc

British Land is the principal donor funding Pathways to Property, a widening participation initiative established in 2012 by Reading Real Estate Foundation (RREF) and also supported by The Sutton Trust to encourage students from UK state schools and colleges to consider a career in property.  British Land has provided expertise, industry knowledge and volunteers to help raise awareness of Real Estate as a subject of study amongst academically able pupils from disadvantaged and non-traditional backgrounds, breaking down barriers to applications.  British Land is one of Europe’s largest Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). Through property and finance expertise they attract experienced partners to create properties and environments which are home to over 1,000 different organisations and visited by over 300 million people each year. Managing their environmental, economic and social impacts is central to the way they do business and deliver value for their shareholders.


SEGRO has supported the University of Reading for many years, with their largest donation towards the Henley Business School Building Campaign in 2007.  SEGRO has supported students at the School of Real Estate & Planning via their Corporate Patronage donation to the Reading Real Estate Foundation (RREF), including Access Internships and Mentoring.  SEGRO is a UK Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) and a leading owner, asset manager and developer of modern warehousing, light industrial property, as well as of higher value uses such as offices and data centres. Their properties are located around major conurbations and at key transportation hubs across eight European countries, principally in the UK, France, Germany and Poland. 


CBRE is the largest and longest standing donor to the Reading Real Estate Foundation (RREF) and has been a Corporate Patron since 2003. CBRE is a strong advocate of the advancement of research in the sector and funded a Chair, and subsequently a Fellow, at the School of Real Estate & Planning, Henley Business School.  They have supported many RREF activities, including the Pathways to Property initiative.  CBRE’s commercial property consultants advise more clients than any other commercial property adviser, combining the market-making of management consultants with the accountability of professional advisors. They provide strategic advice and execution for property sales and leasing; tenant representation, corporate services; facilities, property and project management; appraisal and valuation; development services; investment management; energy and sustainability services, and research and consulting. 

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