Les Halpin

Nick Talbot (far right) shows Claire and Les Halpin some of the research they helped to fund.

Alumni couple donations exceed £1 million

Alumni couple Claire and Les Halpin have made a further generous gift to the University, taking their support for Exeter’s Halpin Scholarship programme, Biosciences and the Business School to over £1 million. Les also has also given in excess of 140 hours of his time working with staff, students and fellow alumni.

Magnaporthe grisea – also known as ‘rice blast fungus’. You may not have heard of it, but each year this disease kills enough rice to feed 60 million people, in some of the world’s poorest countries.

Thanks to the generous support of alumni couple Claire and Les Halpin (Biology 1979 and Mathematical Statistics and Operational research 1979, Hon LLD 2011 respectively), Exeter researchers are leading the way in understanding the molecular biology of the disease, helping develop effective and durable controls.

Claire and Les have donated an additional substantial gift to the Halpin Scholarship Programme, which supports research scholars from rice-growing nations – ensuring that the expertise developed at Exeter will have a direct impact where it matters most.

“Les and Claire are great and inspiring friends of the University,” commented Susie Hills, Director of Development and Alumni Relations. “They see Exeter as a place where their support – in terms of both time and finance – can have a truly catalytic impact. Accelerating research, leveraging new understanding and partnerships, changing lives for the better – not just those of the students they support through scholarships or improved facilities, but also the countless numbers around the world who will directly benefit from the research they are enabling at Exeter.”

Date: 11 May 2012

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