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Students raise record amounts for College projects in this year’s Telethon

Students of St John’s have raised more funds than ever before during this year’s Telethon, with alumni from around the world contributing to the success of the College’s most recent campaign. 

The College’s 10th and most successful Telethon to date saw 13 current students, ranging from first-year undergraduates to final-year PhD candidates, getting in touch with the College’s alumni community over the phone. Working in shifts to enable them to contact alumni across the globe, the students raised money for causes including the Annual Fund, which was established to enhance the academic, sporting and cultural life of St John’s.

Projects previously supported by the Annual Fund include the North West Access Tour, which aimed to widen access to the College for students from a diverse range of backgrounds; the St John’s Reading Group on Health Inequalities – a research group set up to examine the growing divide in the UK’s health; and the St John’s College Music Festival. As gifts to the Annual Fund are distributed to projects in the same financial year as they are made, they have an immediate impact on current students and the wider College community. 

Almost two thirds of the 553 alumni contacted chose to contribute, pledging £321,713.50 in total. In addition to the Annual Fund, gifts were received to support the Free Thinking Campaign, the endowment, teaching and research, the Choir and the College’s boat club – the LMBC.

Clare Cavenagh, a third-year English student who took part in this year’s Telethon, said: “For me, the most rewarding aspect of the Telethon was the warm and interesting conversations I had with past students.  Many people I spoke to had advice and anecdotes to offer, and I found that while my experience of the college was often different from theirs, much common ground remained.  I was also delighted by the generosity of those I spoke to - clearly the college holds many fond memories, and is in their view very worthy of support in the future.”

The College is immensely grateful to all who took part, and alumni will be updated on how the proceeds of the Telethon are used via the College’s website and publications over the coming year.