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£1.1m donation to Cardiff University from Welsh businessman and philanthropist

26 October 2018

CSL

A £1.1m donation to Cardiff University from eminent Welsh businessman and philanthropist Sir Stanley Thomas OBE (Hon 2011) will fund a state of the art 550-seat auditorium within the University’s flagship new Centre for Student Life.

The building, now being developed in partnership with the Students’ Union, will provide a heart to the Cathays Campus and a new home for student support services. It will include new social study spaces, consultation rooms and quiet contemplation spaces along with the 550-seat auditorium which will bear Sir Stanley’s name. The building will ensure Cardiff University’s award-winning support services for students are even more inclusive, accessible and convenient.

Sir Stanley’s landmark gift is the largest single lifetime donation made to the University by an individual to date.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan said: “All of us at Cardiff University are delighted by Sir Stanley’s inspirational and generous gift. We can’t overstate the transformational impact Sir Stanley’s support will have for students, for the University and indeed for Cardiff and Wales.”

Sir Stanley said: “Cardiff University is an important institution for Cardiff, for Wales and the world. This iconic building for students at the University is not a nice-to-have, but a must. The new Centre for Student Life will help to ensure that every student, whatever their background, can flourish during their studies. I hope other donors will follow suit in making similar gifts to my own.”

Amanda Coffey

Sir Stanley’s gift will help ensure that Cardiff students from every walk of life are well-supported in and out of the classroom, and in challenging moments. The Centre for Student Life will deepen Cardiff’s existing strengths in supporting our students’ mental health and wellbeing, money matters, and career preparation – enhancing our already excellent learning and teaching environment.

Professor Amanda Coffey, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Student Experience and Academic Standards

Sir Stanley’s long-time friend, Cardiff University Professor Sir Mansel Aylward, said: “I would like to thank Sir Stanley on behalf of the students I have taught, and the people of Merthyr where we grew up together. Further to the momentous commitments he has made to our hometown and the people of Wales over the years, this latest step-change donation will directly impact the health, happiness and wellbeing of Cardiff students for many generations.”

TJ Rawlinson, Director of Development and Alumni Relations, said: “Sir Stanley’s gift marks a transformational philanthropic moment for Cardiff University. It is marvellous to be able to celebrate this generosity from a Welshman who has contributed to many important Welsh and UK organisations over the years. We are deeply grateful to Sir Stanley for his longstanding support of Cardiff research, and now of Cardiff students. We look forward to celebrating the impact of this gift whilst the building is under construction, when it is opened in the 2020-21 academic year, and for many years to come.”

Find out more about how Cardiff University has benefitted from generous friends and supporters just like you.