Parks College to benefit from transformational £80 million gift from the Reuben Foundation

Oxford University today announced a landmark £80m donation from the Reuben Foundation that will transform our future and establish a major new graduate scholarship programme for our students.

Parks College was founded last year as Oxford’s 39th college (and the first in 30 years) to provide a new base for graduate students who are eager to embrace opportunities for interdisciplinary exchange and apply their research to address key future challenges. It was provisionally named Parks College for its location on Parks Road.

In recognition of this historic gift and its transformational potential, the University has proposed to change our name to Reuben College.*

The gift comes at a significant time for the University, which most recently has been at the forefront of world-changing research to address the Coronavirus pandemic. As works start on refurbishing our buildings and preparations are underway to open for applications from potential graduate students in September, the gift is a powerful endorsement of the University’s role in seeking solutions to tomorrow’s challenges, and a signal of faith in an Oxford education.

The Reuben family has long been a supporter of the University. In 2012, the Foundation established the Reuben Scholarship Programme to support financially disadvantaged undergraduate students studying at Oxford. It also recently made significant donations of healthcare equipment for Oxford University Hospitals (as well as other hospitals in the UK and elsewhere) treating patients with COVID-19. The £80 million gift from the Foundation provides a substantial endowment for the college, and expands the existing Reuben Scholarship Programme to include graduate scholarships for students at Reuben College.

Professor Lionel Tarassenko, President of the college, said: “We are extraordinarily grateful to the Reuben Foundation, for their generosity and for their foresight in providing scholarships that will support new academic talent, especially among those who otherwise would not have the opportunity to pursue graduate studies. We launched last year with a focus on the three themes of artificial intelligence, environmental change and cellular life. This gift allows us to envisage a future that includes more cross-cutting research themes and offers richer engagement opportunities for academics, students and the community at large.”

The Reuben family said: “The current pandemic has shown us just how vital it is to have access to the very best medical research and academic thinking. We hope that this endowment for the proposed Reuben College will help keep Oxford University at the global forefront of research, thereby helping to improve the lives of millions of people long into the future.”

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* Changing the name of the college requires a change to the University’s statutes, which must be agreed by the University’s Congregation. It is hoped that this can be confirmed at its next meeting at the end of June 2020.