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Recognition of benefactor’s impact on the student experience

24 May 2019

Sir Stanley and students
L-R: Richard Hobbs, Harry Thorpe, Sir Stanley Thomas OBE, Camille Stanley, Naomi Owen, Samuel Stainton, Mohammed Binesmeal, Flory Dao

Philanthropist Sir Stanley Thomas OBE (Hon 2011) has been recognised at an event showcasing the future of Cardiff University’s student support services from careers and employability to wellbeing.

This academic year, Sir Stanley pledged the largest single lifetime donation made to the University by an individual to date. The landmark gift of £1.1m will fund a state-of-the-art 550-seat auditorium bearing his name, within the new Centre for Student Life.

Sir Stanley said: “Not only is Cardiff University a leading institution in Wales and the wider world, it is also committed to leading the way in student support in the UK. The Centre for Student Life will further increase its strengths in this area. It will help ensure every student, no matter their background, has access to vital support services and can flourish during their studies.”

The building, when open in 2020-21, will ensure Cardiff University’s award-winning support services for students are even more inclusive, accessible and convenient.  It will include new social study spaces, consultation rooms and quiet contemplation spaces.

The plans and Sir Stanley’s contribution were celebrated at an event hosted by Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan. Guests from the worlds of celebrity, sport, politics and business heard about the impact such services have on current students in receipt of a range of support types.

Speaking at the event, Richard Hobbs (Clinical Psychology 2016 -) said: “The support I have received for dyslexia at Cardiff has been phenomenal. It has empowered me to be me. It has moved me from seeing dyslexia as a problem to something that is an advantage and can save lives.  The confidence I have gained has now helped me secure a job working in paediatric oncology as a clinical psychologist.”

Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan said: “Sir Stanley’s support will undoubtedly have a transformational impact for countless students, for the University and indeed for Cardiff and Wales.  It is a pleasure to celebrate his generosity with the Cardiff community and beyond.”

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