Stories

The Moritz- Heyman Donation:

In June 2008 Christ Church was delighted to announce an endowment donation of £25 million from Michael Moritz (1973) and his wife Harriet Heyman. This is the largest single donation in the college’s history.

The impact of the donation has been felt beyond the boundaries of Christ Church and the terms of the donation are explained in full on the university website: www.campaign.ox.ac.uk

A gift of this size and scope, devoted to the key purposes of collegiate education, is the most precious gift an Oxford college can receive. It enables it to pursue precisely those things Oxford does best: undergraduate teaching, post-graduate research-training, and academic research, and to do it in an intellectually lively and rich cultural environment, where disciplines mix, and students and teachers live and work alongside one another.

The gift has added some £800,000 to the college’s current annual income, which can be spent on academic posts, student support, and capital development projects. Particular benefits will also accrue to the University as a whole with joint academic posts (including fixed-term fellowships in science), full bursary support for science graduates and improved access to fee remissions and other forms of support for undergraduates.

The total sum was invested in Oxford University Asset Management, the University of Oxford’s collective investment vehicle. Under the terms of the gift, Christ Church also transferred £75m of its existing portfolio into the OUAM fund.

 

Simon J Lutterbie, American Friends’ Scholar 2009/10

My time at Christ Church has been nothing short of a life-changing experience. Not only has the academic side been

world-class, but the number of additional opportunities and experiences I've been exposed to has been unlike any other time in my life; I already recognize in myself a new, deep-seated confidence in my abilities, as well as an increased motivation to test and extend them.

Many of these opportunities arose from my involvement in College life, and so I am particularly grateful for the environment and community fostered in Christ Church. As a self-funded graduate student, however, such experiences come at a significant cost, and I am deeply grateful to the American

Friends of Christ Church for making it possible for me to take advantage of all that Christ Church, and Oxford, have to offer.”

 

 

The 2009-10 American Friends Scholars
Marisa N Beniot, American Friends Scholar 2011/12

Thank you, American Friends of Christ Church, for your significant generosity. The financial and moral support that the scholarship provides is even more meaningful to me as someone who has worked for several years in order to fund my graduate studies.

I am thrilled to be studying at Christ Church and am an active, enthusiastic member of the graduate community in the House and the University at large. I've acted as Female Welfare Officer to provide support for the women of the GCR and am currently the President of the Oxford Student-Alumni Society, a group dedicated to strengthening the ties between current students and alumni of the university. My DPhil research in the history of medicine seeks to build bridges between historians on both sides of the Atlantic by examining cultures of health in colonial America and early modern England. My current endeavours and future academic goals are made possible by your support.

I truly appreciate the world that your generosity has opened up to me, and I look forward to continuing to learn and thrive in this amazing environment.”

American Friends’ Scholar 2011
Wells O’Byrne       

I feel so fortunate for the opportunity to pursue graduate studies at Christ Church, where I have been able to take life-changing courses, conduct original research, and reflect on how I would like to help address modern challenges in the years ahead.  With its rich tradition of alumni and its atmosphere that combines scholarship with spirituality, Christ Church has contributed to my emerging interest in the intersection of morality and economics.  This interest has already influenced my course of study, and I expect it will also shape my future path.  As a self-financed graduate student, I am deeply grateful for the American Friends’ Scholarship, which will provide key support in allowing me to pursue my goal of preparing well for a life in public service leadership.  Thank you, American Friends of Christ Church, for supporting the College in its mission to make a graduate education at Christ Church financially accessible to all.

American Friends’ Scholar 2013
Diana Prado Lopes Aude

Studying at Oxford as a member of Christ Church is a wonderful experience. To learn from and to collaborate with some of the most accomplished scientists in the world, and to then be able share meals with them and with other academics and students at the forefront of their fields in the beautiful Christ Church hall is a privilege that I am extremely grateful for. Thanks to the generosity of the American Friends of Christ Church, I am able to continue my graduate studies in Physics, pursuing research that explores the mysteries of nature, seeking to further our understanding of the world around us. I have always been excited about the prospect of pursuing a career in research and being part of the academic chain of learning and teaching, passing on knowledge to students and contributing to the advancement of science. Thank you for helping make possible my continuing pursuit of this dream.

American Friends’ Scholar 2014
Eugene A Birman

Among the proudest moments of my life was recently welcoming BBC presenter Tanya Beckett and the BBC World TV crew to a spacious medieval hall in Tallinn, Estonia: we were filming a just-for-TV performance of my financial opera, which I wrote during Hilary Term at Christ Church in 2013. As the orchestra (not just any, but the 2014 Grammy-award-winning Tallinn Chamber Orchestra) was setting up, I spoke to the presenter about the nature of writing such a piece (and others that have followed) not in an artist's solitary confinement, but in the very center of one of the world's finest research universities - Oxford. When I came here two years ago, with your support, I had promised to focus my studies not just on my degree requirements, but to try to make classical music relevant again, to pay back your very generous investment in visible, actual results. I have understood, being at Oxford, that the life's work of a musician is not simply the creation of art, but also its sustainment, ensuring that it exists, and that future generations develop it further. My gratitude certainly extends to your financial support and to your dedication the College's future. But I would also like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me the chance to be in an environment where the tasks we set for ourselves as scholars extend beyond our chosen fields of study, to those where we really can make a difference in the world. I hope, as a future American graduate of Christ Church, to be able to do the same for future students here, as you have so selflessly done for me now.

American Friends’ Scholar 2015
Hannah Kinney

It's hard to imagine a better place to study the History of Art than at Oxford and Christ Church. Lurking around every corner there is treasured painting, a glowing stained glass, or an ancient stone that encapsulates the rich history of not only of the House, but also the history of art. In such an environment it is so easy to be constantly inspired to ponder humanity's complex relationship with art. I came to Oxford for just this opportunity, to see and experience the works of art that in the States are confined to museums and textbooks. Easy access to the treasures of this country and Europe has expanded my research in innumerable ways. I am so grateful for my American Friends of Christ Church Scholarship, which will allow me to continue my research in museum collections across Europe and to share my findings at conferences in the UK and US, thereby enabling me to better position myself as an academic whose work is known on both sides of the Atlantic.

Olivia and Antonia Sohns

“We both enjoyed wonderful times at Christ Church, forming enduring friendships and having the opportunity to participate in its deep traditions of scholarship, intellectual inquiry, and enrichment of moral understanding. The fellowship amongst Christ Church alumni is second to none. As W. H. Auden knew, Eros is the builder of cities, so also the House reflects the care and support of the generations which have shared in its half-millennium of history.

"When we heard of the Moritz-Heyman Project, as part of the magnificent support that Sir Michael Moritz and his wife Harriet Heyman have offered Christ Church and the University over the years, we wished to contribute as an expression of our affection for the House and our appreciation for the significance of its work and the help it gave to us.”