Sir Alex Ferguson assembled a team of sporting legends and celebrities for a round of golf that raised £73,000 to offer talented students life-changing experiences.
One of those is 22-year-old Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) social sciences student Jayde, who admits she could barely read or write until she was 14 due to being a carer for her mother. Thanks to Sir Alex’s generosity she recently travelled to the African Leadership College in Mauritius, a GCU partnership institution, to gain an understanding of life and study in other countries.
And she was able to thank the former Manchester United boss as he hosted the inaugural Sir Alex Ferguson Golf Classic event on Friday, August 25, in partnership with GCU.
Old Firm legends John Hartson and Walter Smith were among a host of celebrities to join Sir Alex at the Carrick golf course, located at Cameron House, to raise money for scholarships, awards and opportunities to make a significant difference to the lives of talented GCU students.
The day also included a gala dinner and live auction, hosted by broadcaster Dougie Donnelly.
Sir Alex will also donate £500,000 over the next 10 years to help more than 200 GCU students access higher education or to take up life-changing opportunities during their time of study.
Jayde was just one of those to benefit from Sir Alex’s generosity. Environmental Civil Engineering student James, 30, travelled to Malawi, where he helped build a climate-resistant classroom block to combat floods in the country.
Both beneficiaries were able to share their stories with Sir Alex personally as they accompanied him around the course.
Jayde said: “This past year at GCU has been the most memorable and enjoyable of my life. Receiving a Sir Alex scholarship to study at the African Leadership College in Mauritius earlier this year totally pushed me out of my comfort zone. It was a very rewarding experience.”
James said: “Going to Malawi, I had to engage with people who don’t speak the same language and build a rapport with them. Seeing how humble and happy the people are, given they don’t have access to as many opportunities as we do, really brings it home how lucky we are.”
Sir Alex said: “I was delighted to help Glasgow Caledonian University launch its Foundation in 2015, to help students from all backgrounds and across all disciplines. Since then, I have been on the Glasgow campus several times meeting staff and students and have been impressed by the University’s work, particularly in helping people, irrespective of their background, progress in life.
“Today we have the opportunity to raise further funds for students and awareness of the great work of the Foundation. I hope that new donors will also support its work, and together we can make a difference.”
GCU Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Pamela Gillies CBE FRSE said: “We are delighted our long-term partnership with Sir Alex Ferguson continues to deliver unique and exciting opportunities for so many of our students.”
Jillian Watt, Director of the Glasgow Caledonian University Foundation, said: “We are thrilled by the amount of money raised on the night and we have already received further pledges of donations as a result of the fundraiser. We simply could not have achieved this without the support of Sir Alex Ferguson, Miigen our sponsors, the celebrity golfers and guests who all came together to enjoy a great day while giving very generously to the Foundation.”
The event was supported by headline sponsor Miigen, a digital scrapbook that allows people to create their own online legacy.