Sir Alex Ferguson donates £500,000 founding gift

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) is delighted to launch its Foundation with a generous donation from Sir Alex Ferguson CBE to deliver scholarship programmes for students from all backgrounds and across all disciplines.

One of the most successful and respected managers in the history of football, and an Honorary Graduate of GCU, Sir Alex is donating £500,000 over the next 10 years through widening participation and mobility awards.

The Glasgow Caledonian University Foundation will deliver and manage all of the University’s philanthropic activities in support of our defining position as the University for the Common Good. As such, GCU is committed to transforming lives through education and the delivery of an outstanding student experience, supported by our strong record of widening access for talented individuals regardless of their backgrounds.

The Sir Alex Ferguson Scholarship and Awards Fund will help over 200 students to access higher education or to take up life-changing opportunities during their time of study.

The funding will be used to support selected undergraduates who join GCU via one of our outreach programmes such as the Caledonian Club, GCU’s flagship outreach initiative to raise educational and social aspiration. The Caledonian Club has worked with 11,500 children, 3000 parents and enlisted 500 student mentors since its establishment in 2008. Mobility scholarships will also be available to help students to undertake study enhancing opportunities in the UK and internationally.

Sir Alex said: “‘I am delighted to be able to support Glasgow Caledonian University. I have had a relationship with the University for a number of years and have always been impressed by the quality of its work. I am particularly pleased to have the opportunity to help people, irrespective of their background, progress in life. 

“The seed for this project was planted by Sir Michael Moritz, I have seen how proud he is of his work with Oxford University and that motivated me into giving something back to my home town. It was a difficult decision to select the most suitable platform for this but feel I have chosen well in Glasgow Caledonian University, I hope that together we can make a difference.”

Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Pamela Gillies CBE FRSE said: “We are delighted to be entering a long-term partnership with Sir Alex Ferguson that will deliver unique and exciting opportunities for so many of our students. Sir Alex is a hugely respected figure and he shares GCU’s commitment to raise aspiration and create educational opportunities for talented young people, many of whom have faced difficult circumstances.

“Through the Glasgow Caledonian University Foundation, we will continue to work with philanthropists and donors to promote access to education and deliver research, knowledge and social innovation that generates real and lasting impact in the communities we serve as the University for the Common Good.”

Jillian Watt, Director of the Glasgow Caledonian University Foundation, said: “We are delighted that the founding gift to our newly launched Glasgow Caledonian University Foundation has come from Sir Alex. He enjoys the energy and ideas of young people and he shares our passion for nurturing and supporting talented individuals regardless of their financial background, and this is one of the key reasons he selected GCU as the University that would benefit from his support."