Why Support Us?

It is only through education and research that many of the issues facing society today will be resolved.

Without financial support we at Trinity Hall would be unable to fulfill our aims of fostering academic excellence and enhancing the University of Cambridge’s position as one of the world’s leading Universities.

To do this we must be in a position to:

  • ensure no talented individuals are prevented from studying or undertaking postgraduate research at Trinity Hall because of insufficient funding
  • offer additional financial support to our students, assisting those facing unexpected financial hardship
  • continue to provide support for teaching Fellows who underpin the supervision system
  • provide pastoral care to our community
  • improve our buildings, resources and facilities in order both to attract the brightest minds and to support learning, research and collaboration in our community
  • offer an environment in which additionally talent in sport, music, art and drama may be nurtured.

Ultimately, we must diversify our sources of income if we are to move away from dependence upon government funding.

Philanthropic support from alumni and friends, together with a shrewd investment strategy, will help us to realise these goals.

Income from our endowment provides for both the maintenance of our buildings and the sum we add to government fees to cover the cost of educating each of our students at Trinity Hall; in 2021/22 this last figure, which we call the ‘educational deficit’, though it is really an investment in the future of our students, was £5.8 million.

Donations to the College’s endowment will be invested and the income from the capital will be available to use each year. Gifts to the Trinity Hall fund are spent during the next academic year. Thousands of gifts from alumni, friends and parents make up this Fund and collectively make a huge difference. It enables the College to direct support to areas of greatest need and have an immediate impact, whilst also relieving pressure on the endowment. Our aim is to increase the numbers giving to the Trinity Hall fund as the sum of many gifts can have a huge impact: improving the lives of future generations of students and the fabric of the College buildings.

Donations to the Trinity Hall Fund and the College’s endowment are vital if we are to transform the fabric of the College and the lives of future generations of students, thereby safeguarding the future of Trinity Hall as a place of education, learning and research.

From its foundation in 1350, Trinity Hall has benefited from the vision and generosity of benefactors, who have endowed property, gifts and collections to ensure a centre of excellence rich in intellectual, cultural and spiritual values.

Our founder was William Bateman, successively bishop of Westminster, Norwich and Ely. Of the many books, manuscripts, and vestments and vessels for the Chapel which we listed in the founding charter, only the charter and the Founder’s Cup remain.

We also owe much to the generosity of former Masters, Nathanael Lloyd in the 18th century and Henry Latham in the 19th century, whose legacies – and vision – created Trinity Hall as we know it today.

Virtually every major building and facility in this College, and many teaching posts and student support funds, owes something to a gift from Fellows, alumni, staff and friends of the College.

Support has come in a variety of ways, with donations large and small received from alumni, Fellows, staff and students of the College. Benefactions have also been received from friends of the College and from Trusts, Foundations and Corporations.

In 2016 we established Bateman Benefactors for those living donors who have donated over £500,000. These currently include three alumni and five foundations and their support has funded graduate students; building projects and Fellowships.

Some of the other key and interesting benefactions to Trinity Hall over the years include:

  • Thomas Thirlby, Anglican bishop of Westminster, Norwich and Ely, gave Trinity Hall the advowson of five parishes in Huntingdonshire in 1557.
  • Robert Hare, in 1604 gave Trinity Hall a collection of manuscripts and books, mostly on theology and history, which now forms the heart of the Old Library.
  • Nathanael Lloyd, Master from 1710-1735 gave £4,000 (£400,000 in today’s terms) for the redevelopment of Front Court, the Dining Hall and the Chapel. He wanted to extend the College down to the river in the same Palladian style but his bequest ran out.
  • The manuscript of the History of St Augustine’s monastery at Canterbury, given on the condition that if the monastery should ever be revived, the volume would be returned to it.
  • In 1962, G Boulton gave £92,000 or building Boulton House, or BoHo, as it is fondly called by students.
  • W G Christi donated £1million towards the Wychfield site in 1988.
  • In 1992, a donation of £365,000 from M J H Nightingale funded the Boat House, Old Library, postgraduate bursaries, and a research fellowship.
  • An unusual benefaction to Trinity Hall was the blindfold Terry Waite wore while he was a hostage in Beirut.

For some, public recognition is important, for others anonymity is essential. Trinity Hall honours the interests and requirements of all donors, and acknowledges the support of everyone.

The Development Office was established in the mid-1990s ready to mark the College’s 650th anniversary in 2000. Just over £13.5 million was raised. The Milestones to the Future Campaign was launched in June 2006 with the aim of regenerating the College’s buildings on the main College site and bolstering the endowment. Fundraising continues to be an everyday operational activity of the College.

Thank you for your support and interest in Trinity Hall and its future.

Doesn't Trinity Hall have an endowment? Why does the College need money?

There is considerable strain on our endowment as it has to subsidise the cost of educating all of our students (~£10,000 per undergraduate per year and ~£8,000 per postgraduate per year), this educational deficit totalled £5.8 million in 2021/22. The nature of the Oxbridge supervision system increases the cost of educating our students by around 25% when compared with other UK universities. Income from the endowment also has to cover everyday running costs including maintenance of our buildings and provision of salaries, as well as funding bursaries and resources for the students. Markets are volatile and the value of the endowment is subject is change.

Despite the increase in fees to £9,000 in 2012, there is still a shortfall between the income from government contribution and fees, and the amount it costs to educate students. This is because government funding (the HEFCE T-grant) has been reduced dramatically. The College still has to subsidise the cost of every student’s education every year. The agreement with OFFA which permits the University to charge £9,000 also means that a proportion of the fee will be spent on access and outreach initiatives.

Does Trinity Hall invest its money wisely?

The College has an investment committee made up of Fellows, asset managers and independent Professional advisers who offer neutral advice. We have diversified our portfolio and have increased transparency in terms of College’s accounts and investments. The portfolios have outperformed their underlying markets in recent years. Over the past ten years the College’s return on investment has outperformed the WM Index for Charities and is one of the highest amongst all the Colleges.

Doesn't the Fellowship cost a lot of money?

The majority of Trinity Hall Fellows are University Teaching Officers so the College only provides office space and pay for supervisions. Trinity Hall Fellows often have numerous College responsibilities as part of their role.

Can't some of the richer Colleges help others?

The ‘University Contribution’ ensures that the wealth of some of the ‘least poor’ colleges is given annually to those that are poorer. This redistributes £3 million per year to the poorer colleges; Trinity Hall is a net giver to this scheme. Our neighbour, Trinity College, does have a larger endowment than all the other colleges and distributes hardship monies to students of all colleges via the Newton Trust.

Doesn't Cambridge University has sufficient resources already?

Cambridge is one of the least well resourced of the world’s top ten Universities. Less than 3% of the University’s annual expenditure in 2012/13 was funded by the endowment, compared with figures of 57% at Princeton, 39% at Harvard and 23% at Stanford.

If I can only give a small amount, will that really make a difference?

Yes – every contribution does help. Eighteen telephone campaigns have together raised more than £4.7 million. This has enabled us to refurbish the Crescent room, new JCR and P and G staircases; to help alleviate student hardship within College, to improve resources for certain subject groups; to provide choral scholarships and also to assist college sports teams with purchasing new equipment. If every alumnus gave £20 per month it could cover the costs of the shortfall between income from fees and costs of educating students, which is currently met by using income from the endowment.