University of Leicester create a book honouring Centenary donors

(Credit: RedPix)

A book commemorating hundreds of University donors has been commissioned to mark the University of Leicester’s centenary.

The Centenary Golden Book is dedicated to those who have supported the University of Leicester throughout the last century and during the formative period of its centenary celebration. We decided to commission the Centenary Golden Book to mark the tradition of giving that has been present at Leicester for over 100 years.

The book is the second of its kind to be commissioned by the University. The original Golden Book, published in the 1920s, lists the donors whose fundraising effort saw the creation of the University College in 1921.

Dr Astley Clarke, the University’s founder, made the first donation to the University fund on Armistice Day 1918 in the wake of the First World War.

The Centenary Golden Book records the names of donors and volunteers who contributed to the University between 1 August 2018 and 31 July 2022. It captures a snapshot of our generous donor and volunteer community during our Centenary period of celebration and will be preserved alongside the original Golden Book as the University moves into its second century.

David Barry and Ian Johnson reflect on their support for the University in the context of the Centenary Golden Book launch.

David studied Mathematics BSc at the University from 1962 to 1965, where he met his future wife, Susan. He has been donating to the University since 2008.

David said: “I think the trigger for me starting to support was after my wife passed away. I felt knew that I would like Susan to be remembered and one way of doing so was by setting up an endowment, the Susan Wiley Memorial Fund.”

David also said: “When I went to University back in the sixties, the government paid for tuition and gave me a grant in order to be able to live. I ended up, after three years at University, without debt.

“I began to realise when things changed in the UK and costs went up for undergraduate students that I could do something to help.”

David has since set up two further endowment funds which facilitate vital areas of support across the University; the Women in Maths Award and the Alumni PG Scholarship Fund.

Ian Johnson studied Geography BA at the University of Leicester between 1974 and 1977 and sits on the University Council as the Treasurer.

He said: “I had a very happy time at Leicester and thoroughly enjoyed my subject. I made a lot of good friends, a number of whom I am still in contact with.”

Ian continued: “I became a chartered accountant at a major firm, so I was in the position to contribute to the University.

“The Silver Heart Appeal in 2012 was a very personal one because my daughter was born with heart problems which necessitated open heart surgery at the age of three weeks, so we had a strong desire to contribute.”

The University’s Centenary donors were honoured at a Supporters Reception on Alumni and Friends day at the University on 1 October. The University was delighted to welcome Ian Johnson back as Master of Ceremonies for the Supporters’ Reception and unveiling of the Centenary Golden Book.

For more information about the Centenary Golden Book, please contact Asha Hickin, Stewardship Manager, at: or visit our website: