An impressive £100,000 was raised at the launch of a campaign which seeks to boost the University of West London's massive £50 million development programme, support its future students and attract the best academics.
Much of the money was raised in a silent auction at the Lighting the Way fund-raiser, held at a glittering gala dinner at the Dorchester Hotel in London last Friday (17). Donated prizes included football hospitality and tickets, golf and dinner at the exclusive Bearwood Lakes, one of the top 100 golf courses in the UK and meals at top restaurants.
There was also a live auction, conducted by Professor David Foskett, head of the London School of Hospitality and Tourism, where a guitar donated by the Who's Pete Townshend - a former student - raised £6,600 and haute couture dress just over £2,000.
Nearly 400 leading businessmen and women, university alumni, educationalists and academics attended the lavish event, which included a superlative four-course meal, prepared and served by UWL students, under the guidance of the hotel's catering team. A short film highlighted the vast range of courses and achievements of the university, while a stunning performance from its London College of Music, demonstrated one of its many strengths.
Alistair Telfer, chairman of the Alumni Board, said they aimed to raise £10 million by 2018 to secure a strong future for the university based in St Mary's Road, Ealing.
He said: "This campaign will enhance the experience of students like the ones who performed tonight from the London College of Music and London School of Hospitality and Tourism. The campaign is about ensuring our students are supported by scholarships and bursaries. Our doors should be open to all those who wish to learn, irrespective of their background.
"I know first-hand the transformational difference this university can make to a student's life. We want to ensure the next generation has the best opportunity to realise their full potential."
Professor Peter John, the university's vice-chancellor, said: "We want to make this the best university in London. Tonight is a campaign landmark. We have the energy, commitment and optimism to achieve £10 million. To quote Churchill: ' Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential.' We can't do everything we want to do if we don't have the money. It is important to light the way for everyone who goes through the doors of the university."