The Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, visited the University yesterday to preside over a ceremony to admit recent major donors  to the Cambridge Guild of Benefactors.

His day began with a visit to Fitzwilliam College to view and officially open the new Library and IT Centre there. Designed by renowned architect Edward Cullinan, the striking, environmentally-sensitive £4.4 million building extends the east wing of the 1959 Denys Lasdun masterplan and creates a place for study that reflects the peaceful landscape and respects and enhances the adjacent architecture.

The main library reading rooms are on three floors, with the books situated in the centre of each floor and the reader spaces around the perimeter to maximise the use of light. There are more than 200 study spaces and 30 dedicated computer stations. The building has been designed to exceed the latest building regulation requirements for energy consumption and insulation, to maximise natural light while minimising solar gain.


Once the Chancellor had viewed the new library he unveiled a plaque at the entrance commemorating his visit. Fitzwilliam College Master Professor Robert Lethbridge said: “We are honoured, Chancellor, to be able to mark this occasion by your presence, not only because the new Library is important in its own right but also because it completes the whole College site.”

Later, to a trumpet fanfare, The Chancellor processed with members of the Guild of Cambridge Benefactors into the Senate House for a ceremony to induct nine new members of the Guild, joining an existing membership of 160.

The choir of Gonville and Caius College performed at the ceremony, which takes place each April to thank individuals and companies who have given substantially to the University and Colleges.

In the invocation at the ceremony, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Steve Young, standing in for the Vice-Chancellor, said: "To be a Benefactor to our great university requires not only financial generosity but also a generosity of spirit, faith in the future, an appetite for dissent and discovery, and a certain unease with the status quo."

"Donors to Cambridge give because they share our passion for education and research; our commitment to excellence; and our values. They give because our ambitions for Cambridge resonate with theirs."

At a reception following the ceremony members of the Guild were entertained by the cast of the recent ADC Theatre musical, Annie Get your Gun performing There’s No Business Like Showbusiness and I Got The Sun In The Morning.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Licence. If you use this content on your site please link back to this page.