The Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, presented fourteen major benefactors with a newly-created medal at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace today.

The Chancellor’s 800th Anniversary Medal for Outstanding Philanthropy is a prestigious limited edition medal specially commissioned by the University of Cambridge.

It will be awarded to the most generous benefactors of the University and its colleges who have made significant gifts to the 800th Anniversary Campaign. Launched in 2005 as the most ambitious fundraising initiative in British educational history, the Campaign is well on course to raise £1 billion to help secure Cambridge’s edge in excellence for the future.

The medals have been designed and executed by the artist Jane McAdam Freud (pictured) who is a graduate of the Royal College of Art, London, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors.

In January this year the University announced it had raised a total of £801 million so far. Despite the global economic downturn, the Campaign continues to attract significant philanthropic support this financial year. The latest figures will be released later in the year.

Among those honoured today were:

Dr Hermann Hauser and Dr Pamela Raspe for their gift to establish the Hauser Forum, to provide accommodation for Cambridge Enterprise, a University-owned company focused on commercial knowledge transfer.

Dr Alan Howard for his gift to construct The Howard Theatre, a student theatre at Downing College, designed by Quinlan and Francis Terry LLP Architects, following many years of support for Downing College.

Dr William H Janeway and Ms Weslie R Janeway for their joint philanthropy to found the Cambridge Endowment for Research in Finance and for their support for teaching at Pembroke College.

Dr John C. Taylor for his support for undergraduates and graduates through scholarships and the student library at Corpus Christi College, and the Corpus Clock.

Dr Janeway, who co-chairs the 800th Anniversary Campaign Board, said: "The breadth and depth of support for Cambridge's 800th Anniversary Campaign has been tremendous, reaching across all the varied institutions and foundations that make up the collegiate university and mobilizing support from alumni and friends in Britain and around the world. It is a privilege to be part of this great and rewarding effort."

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alison Richard, said: “These outstandingly generous benefactors are supporting the core purposes of the University: their gifts are enhancing students’ experience, creating research in new areas, and helping us put new discoveries to work in society. Cambridge is deeply grateful.”

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