Dr Jeremy Farrar of the Wellcome Trust.

College of Benefactors welcomes new members

The Wellcome Trust and Ayudar Foundation were welcomed into the prestigious University of Exeter College of Benefactors at the recent winter graduation ceremony.

The Ayudar Foundation was represented by founders and trustees Clemencia Posada-Brown and Gerry Brown.

Since 2011, the Ayudar Foundation has donated more than £630,000 to the University of Exeter Business School to establish the Ayudar Colombia Fund. Born out of Gerry and Clemencia’s desire to support the development of managerial talent in Colombia, the Fund provides scholarships for Colombian citizens to study on our exclusive One Planet MBA programme. Six Colombian students have now completed the MBA.

Clemencia was born and brought up in Colombia and is an advocate of lifelong learning. Gerry (Economics & Economic History 1966) was invited to chair the newly formed University Campaign Planning Board last year and to sit on the Alumni Network Group. He has also recently joined the Council of the University.

The University has benefitted from over £11 million of grant funding from the Wellcome Trust since 2007, including three prestigious Senior Investigator Awards and £8.3 million in capital funding.

In 2010 a £3.6 million Capital Award created the pioneering Mood Disorders Centre, established as a partnership between the University and the NHS to address key priorities in understanding and treating depression. The Sir Henry Wellcome Building for Mood Disorders Research was opened in 2012.

Most recently, the Wellcome Trust joined with the Wolfson Foundation to grant £4.75 million towards a cutting-edge centre for translational medicine at Exeter. The Wellcome Wolfson Medical Research Centre is part of a £19 million investment in the Research, Innovation, Learning and Development Centre.

Professor Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust represented the organisation at the ceremony.

Professor Sir Steve Smith, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive said: “We are enormously grateful to both the Wellcome Trust and Ayudar Foundation for their incredible support and are delighted to welcome them into the University’s College of Benefactors.

“This goes beyond a financial endorsement – as important and significant as it is. Their support also reflects our joint passion and belief that by working together we really can achieve genuine improvements for society.”

Date: 29 January 2014

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