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Donor, Alumni and Supporter Development

Students in academic gown processing into the cathedral

We have over 230,000 alumni and supporters globally. We have 86 alumni and supporter chapters, linked by location or common interest. They communicate with us and each other through regular events and communications. Engagement with our diverse and loyal community is growing.    

The sustained generosity of donors ensures we fund an increasing range of transformative scholarships and research projects tackling world issues such as energy transition and Alzheimer’s Disease. It funds vital improvements to research, teaching and learning facilities and to our estate which includes a UNESCO World Heritage Site and several listed buildings.   

Through the professional expertise and networks of our alumni and supporter community, we offer our students life-changing opportunities, ensuring the continued positive impact of our graduates.

We are a thriving and inclusive community of over 230,000 alumni and supporters who have their lifetime relationship with Durham in common.

University Strategy

What we are already doing well:

  • Our engagement programme has grown to offer 150 in-person and digital events in over 185 countries.   
  • More than 65 donor-funded scholarship schemes support around 200 scholars, with new scholarships for British students of black heritage.
  • Through our community, we can offer diverse student internships and career development, mentoring and networking opportunities.
  • Our Durham Inspired fundraising campaign supports major research, scholarships and estates infrastructure. 
  • We have enhanced our global volunteer and giving programmes: our latest Dunelm Days alumni-led campaign offered 40 events in 20 countries   
  • Our Durham Inspired North East Scholarships programme supported exceptional young people from our region to fulfil their potential at Durham, regardless of financial means.  
  • Our Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics, with generous donations from alumnus Sir Peter Ogden and supported by further donor generosity, celebrated its 20th anniversary.
  • A donation allowed University scientists to initiate the first UK trial of a game-changing treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • We established the Sir Harry Evans Memorial Fund in honour of the late alumnus and legendary newspaper editor, a partnership with Sir Harry’s widow, Tina Brown, and Reuters.  

We will:

  • Launch a new fundraising campaign for our 200th anniversary in 2032, focusing on domestic and global scholarships, alongside visionary capital and capacity-building opportunities.
  • Secure further transformational philanthropic support to widen access to Durham for underrepresented student groups, including students from less privileged backgrounds, from the UK and abroad and at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
  • Build stronger relationships sooner in the student, alumni, donor and supporter journey, develop a compelling and comprehensive package of alumni benefits and formalise an international student recruitment alumni ambassador programme.