Epigram has learned that Bristol University may lose out on millions of pounds as numerous lumni revoke donations in their wills.
It’s understood that over £2 million is known to have been revoked, while the true figure may be considerably higher. The reason for this reversal in fortunes is the newly proposed model for Halls, which is proving increasingly unpopular with students, staff and alumni.
The benefactors in question have been ‘outraged by the University’s spokesman, whose comments in both the national and the local press about the current system of pastoral care in the residences appear to denigrate the work of residences’ staff and cast doubts on the value of my life’s work and that of my colleagues’, according to our source.
According to a University spokesperson, the university is not ‘currently aware of any legacy pledges that have been changed as a result of the proposals for the Residential Life Service model currently being consulted upon.’ The University ‘values the generous philanthropic support of our alumni and friends which helps to ensure our students continue to receive a world class, innovative and inclusive education experience,’ according to their spokesperson. ‘Some alumni choose to pledge their support through gifts in wills and our specialist legacy team works closely with prospective supporters and donors.’ ‘However,’ they continue: ‘we have recently been made aware that some alumni, who we understand intend to leave a legacy gift, have indicated to others their intention to change their wills. We would invite anyone in that position to contact our legacy team to discuss any concerns in confidence.’
A recent petition opposing the changes has gained almost 3,500 signatures, while letters on behalf of the SRs, JCR Committees and Wardens have all been sent to the Vice-Chancellor. An open letter from the Hall Alumni Associations has also panned the proposals, claiming ‘the new model has little or no capacity for community development and support’. This appears to be the motivation behind the collective £2 million revocation, as former students who appreciated their time in Halls oppose the loss of the communities they once enjoyed and contributed to.