Richard III and major fundraising campaign help University of Leicester win two top national awards

Posted by er134 at Jun 24, 2013 01:30 PM |
Outstanding Communications Team and Outstanding Fundraising Initiative awards for Leicester

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 24 June 2013

Richard III and a £12m major fundraising campaign backed by the community have helped the University of Leicester win two top awards in a national competition.

Leicester won the top award for ‘Outstanding Communications Team’ and for ‘Outstanding Fundraising Initiative’ in the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards.

At a glittering ceremony on Thursday night in London's Grosvenor House Hotel, the University of Leicester’s awards were presented by popular television personality Dara O' Briain.

Leicester won the communications team award for its work across a range of projects: the communication strategy around the search and discovery of Richard III; the development of the debating platform Leicester Exchanges and the pioneering work around animal research communications.

Leicester was praised by the judges for the reputational impact of these initiatives and the unparalleled success of the Richard III announcement that had made global front page news.

The University’s recent major fundraising campaign for the creation of a state-of-the-art Cardiovascular Research Centre at Glenfield Hospital led to the award for outstanding fundraising initiative ahead of strong competition from five other entries including Glasgow and Nottingham.

The judges praised Leicester’s ambition and remarkable success in raising three times the original appeal target and securing widespread community support and the biggest ever donation in the University’s history with a gift of  £7 million from The John and Lucille van Geest Foundation. Leicester’s entry was commended for representing best practice in the field and moving their fundraising programme from good to great.

Commenting on the awards, Deputy Registrar Richard Taylor said: "This is the seventh successive year in which Leicester has won a Times Higher Award - it is the only university in the country to enjoy such a sequence.”

Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Robert Burgess said: "It has been an historic year for Leicester and these awards reflect the tremendous contribution all professional colleagues make, while working with academic staff, towards the success of the University."

Steve O'Connor, Director of Development, said: "The national award for the outstanding fundraising initiative is a tribute to the commitment and generosity of thousands of donors in the city and county and beyond who have supported the University and the campaign to further advance our world leading heart research."

Professor Nilesh Samani, Head of Cardiovascular Sciences, said: "We are enormously proud of the fantastic new research facilities at the Cardiovascular Research Centre and the enormous contribution local community groups and other donors have made. I also wish to pay tribute to the University’s fundraising team that has so deservedly won this national award."

For more coverage of the awards and photos of all the winners, visit

  • The Dig for Richard III was led by the University of Leicester, working with Leicester City Council and in association with the Richard III Society.  The originator of the Search project was Philippa Langley of the Richard III Society

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