Meet our donors

The University of New England was founded in a great act of philanthropy with the donation of the historic house Booloominbah and 180 acres of parklands in 1937 by Thomas Richard Foster to establish "as a University College for all Australia". The value of this historic property at the time was £30,000 (around $14 million in today's value) and the local community contribution £10,000 (approx. $4 million) towards the target set by the NSW Government to establish the New England University College (NEUC) in 1938. At the tail end of the Great Depression these were astronomical figures for a regional community to give to any project and were based upon a desire to make a real difference.

The bid to establish the university was based upon a bold new vision to create a centre of educational excellence in regional Australia, something which has never been attempted before and which energized the community of the New England region and much further afield.

The University was an enterprise that stirred the imagination, stimulated the intellect and aimed to create educational opportunities for people in small and large communities across the country. This vision has received support from thousands of people ever since through a stream of donations and support that has included money but also land, property, artworks, historical artifacts, books, research collections and much more. Donations to the university support this vision.

We would like to thank everyone who has made a donation to support the University of New England. It doesn't matter what size the donation is, we would like to emphasize that the generous support of our programs, scholarships and other activities is essential to the University and its students.

Here are some of our donors stories.


Chris Abbott

Support for play based discovery for life at UNE

That play is good for children’s development is widely acknowledged, and donor Chris Abbott wants to ensure that regional NSW children and their families are able to access a great opportunity to play with meaning.

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Gordon Doyle

A lifetime of learning

When he left school in Year 10, Gordon Doyle didn’t consider he had great prospects.

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Susie Dunn

From little things....

“UNE enthusiast” Susie Dunn is not an alumnus and describes her contributions to the university over the years as modest. However, she illustrates the big difference that smaller donations can collectively make to the cultural tapestry and growth of a public institution such as ours.

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Betty Fyffe

The Honorary Nurse

In her twilight years, former nurse Betty Fyffe would roam her Tamworth nursing home doing what she did best.

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Kate Hadfield

Workplace Giving

It's important to me to support UNE. I believe in UNE’s uniqueness and its heritage as the first distance education provider in Australia.

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Janice Knight

A Knight in shining armour - Janice Knight's affection for UNE runs deep.

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The Lam Family

At a time in history when world views are increasingly polarised and “facts” are reduced to tweets, the study of classical languages can seem foreign, even archaic. But classical languages help us to unlock the past and to learn what it means to be human today.

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Douglas McMaster

A passion for the North West Slopes and Plains and its agricultural potential born a century ago is about to inspire a new generation through the D.L. McMaster Fund.

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Max Shroder

A gift that keeps on giving

Educator and philanthropist Max Schroder donated $1.25 million in late 2019 to scholarship programs for Indigenous students at UNE in what is the largest financial gift from a living donor in the university’s history.

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Cec Spence

A financial lifeline and a friendship

Embarking on her Criminology/Law degree in 2010, Miriam Hicks faced a daunting prospect.

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Hans Wissman

Fund blossoms for botanical study

Hans Wissmann was a quiet but constant presence in UNE’s N.C.W. Beadle Herbarium for more than half a century.  Even upon his death, he ensured that his presence would still be felt.

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