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A Legacy to Sidney Sussex College

Since its foundation in 1596 through the bequest of Lady Frances Sidney, Countess of Sussex, Sidney has benefited greatly from the support of its alumni and friends which has been central to the College’s growth. It is this generosity that provides the essential support for virtually every aspect of College life at Sidney, from attracting the most able students irrespective of financial background, to retaining the best academics, and maintaining the quality of the overall student experience.


What is a College? It is a place of learning, of course, but also a group of atmospheric buildings with a chapel, a hall and residential courts, usually set in leafy gardens. We remember all these things fondly, but only because of the people there with whom we shared so many important experiences which have shaped our lives in profound ways. Most of us recall the privilege of small supervision groups led by world-class teachers, along with late nights in the library as well as in the bar. We also know that for hundreds of years this growing community has thrived in different times and in different ways, and we feel a strange bond with all those thousands who came before us. We want this community to continue and also to develop in a changing world. It is a unique and living body of people from the past and present who have felt and still feel obliged to hand it on to future generations. To ensure the development of the College and the continuation of the experience we enjoyed, Sidney is increasingly reliant on the generosity of others. One of the easiest and most effective methods of supporting Sidney is to make provision for the College through your will, as I have done. It can be one of the most meaningful ways in which you can make a gift to the College and ensures that your generosity will continue to benefit future generations of students for many years to come. Richard Humphreys (1972)

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What Your Gift Can Achieve

Sir Richard Powell Sir Richard Powell matriculated at Sidney Sussex College in 1927, and after entering the Civil Service in 1932 he pursued a distinguished career in the Admiralty and the Ministry of Defence before his appointment as Permanent Secretary to the Board of Trade from 1960 to 1968. In 1972 Richard was made an Honorary Fellow. On his retirement, the Bursar at that time, Roger Andrew, asked our current Bursar, Nick Allen, who was then an undergraduate at Sidney, to give Sir Richard a tour of the College. It happened that Richard and Nick already knew one another as they shared a barber! “Richard made a number of generous donations during his life and left a substantial legacy to the College. Amongst other things, his gifts enabled the College to renovate and expand the library in order to meet the requirements of current and future generations of students at Sidney. In recognition of his generosity the library was named in his honour and continues to be used on a daily basis by our students. His legacy was also used to establish the Powell Library Fund, which meets the running costs of the library. In addition, College established the Powell Arts and Music Fund to help students participate in the performing arts. In recent years, this Fund has supported the Sidney Arts Festival and students participating in the Edinburgh festival, and provided conducting lessons for budding musicians. In addition to the £1m in these funds, the College has been able to reserve £2.5m of the legacy for future building projects. A truly fine legacy!” Nick Allen, Bursar 2  A Legacy to Sidney Sussex College

The Leslie Yoxall Bursary Leslie Yoxall attended Manchester Grammar School before joining Sidney to read mathematics in 1933. He was one of the elite group of cryptanalysts who broke the German Enigma cipher at Bletchley Park during the Second World War. “As an undergraduate studying mathematics at the University of Cambridge, it seems I am one of many students who, while anticipating where their degree might lead, are also a little uncertain about how it will affect them financially, both during their studies and life afterwards. So it was with much appreciation that I received the Leslie Yoxall Bursary. The Bursary was made possible through the generosity of Leslie Yoxall, who included the College in his will. This is an ideal way for those with the means to help others to support future generations and is a great way to be remembered. In the current economic climate, and with the recent rise in tuition fees, it is now even more important to ensure that financial worries do not deter potential applicants from applying to study at Cambridge. I am personally very grateful for the kindness of Leslie Yoxall and it means a lot to know that students are being supported in this way. For me, it means that I am less reliant on my parents and it eases the financial burden, allowing me to concentrate on my studies and to take advantage of the opportunities the University has to offer. Sidney is known for its strong sense of community. Donating is an excellent way to contribute to this and can make a real difference to a student who might otherwise be struggling to make ends meet.” Niall Bootland (2010)   A Legacy to Sidney Sussex College  3

Taylor Lectureship In 1732 the College received a valuable bequest of property from Samuel Taylor of Dudley, who matriculated at Sidney in 1691. The purpose of his legacy was to promote the study of mathematics at Sidney. The sale of mineral properties from the Taylor estates in 1818 and 1823 enabled the College to build the Taylor Mathematical Library. In addition the bequest ensured that the College was able to employ a Taylor Lecturer in Mathematics. The current Taylor Lecturer is Dr Berry Groisman. “Through this Lectureship many talented researchers have been given the opportunity to bring their teaching skills and passion for mathematics to Sidney. It has been of enormous benefit for generations of young mathematicians who have received personal guidance and support from Taylor Lecturers throughout the years. For many students a College Lecturer is the first link to the Faculty of Mathematics, and the teaching support provided by College Lecturers through supervisions has always been, and remains, one of the main strengths of the Cambridge system.” Dr Berry Groisman

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Future Bequests

I was fortunate to spend four years at Sidney Sussex completing my PhD in medieval history. Since then I have had only peripheral involvement with the College but updating my will provided an opportunity to think about how a legacy might help others to benefit from all that Sidney offers in the future. When making a will, one hopes that it will not come into effect for many years. Nevertheless, I am pleased that at some point in the future I can help future undergraduates and graduate students at Sidney. In my case, I hope that any legacy can be used to support Sidney’s distinguished record of history teaching and scholarship. I am also watching with interest the success of the Chapel choir. Music was an important part of my time at Sidney and I hope that music in College will continue to go from strength to strength. Elizabeth Siberry (1978)

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I am happy to share my reasons for planning a legacy gift to Sidney Sussex College even though I am not a graduate of the College. I had rooms at Sidney for a brief course in the early 1970s and loved the College buildings, gardens, mission and history. I remember going across the street to Sainsbury’s to get the fixings for a picnic in the back gardens on perfect sunny days. I loved the dining hall with the portraits and history around me. It was a new experience to see undergraduates in black robes hurrying to meet with their tutors. We don’t have those traditions in California. I’ve returned to Cambridge many times over the last 40 years and when it was time to create my will, Sidney came to mind immediately. I contacted the Sidney Development Office and they were very helpful in giving me the language to create two bursaries, one to be used for students based on financial need, and the second to give an annual income to support the lovely gardens. I feel privileged to contribute in a small way to the future scholars at Sidney. I’ve read that students in Britain are increasingly asked to pay more toward the cost of their education so my gift may help a student who might not otherwise be able to afford an education at Cambridge. Christine Blomley

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Types of Legacy

There are several common forms of legacy and we recommend that you seek professional advice in deciding which is the most appropriate for you. These include: • A residuary legacy: a gift of all or a percentage of your estate after other bequests, expenses and taxes have been take care of. • A pecuniary legacy: a gift of a specific sum of money. • A specific legacy: a gift of personal property such as land or other real estate, shares, books or other items. • A reversionary legacy: a gift allowing you to leave assets to Sidney while allowing a named person the benefit of the assets during their lifetime.

Tax benefits The College’s charitable status means there are tax benefits in leaving a legacy to us. By remembering Sidney in your will, you can reduce the taxable value of your assets, and so reduce the amount of inheritance tax on your estate. Gifts may be in the form of money, property, or other valuables. Alumni and friends of Sidney in the USA might find it helpful to know that legacies for the benefit of Sidney Sussex College can be left to the College without any loss of tax efficiency through Cambridge in America.

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Including the College in Your Will

It is quite straightforward to include a legacy to the College in your will. Any legacy to Sidney Sussex College ought to refer to the College by its official title, although it is perfectly acceptable simply to refer to “Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge” in your will. A suggested form of words is below: “I give to the Master, Fellows and Scholars of the College of the Lady Frances Sidney Sussex in the University of Cambridge (Registered Charity number 1137586) the residue/the sum of £ free of tax for the general purposes of the College. I declare that the receipt of the Bursar or other authorised officer for the time being of the College shall be a good and sufficient discharge to my Executors.” We would encourage you to continue the long tradition of leaving money for the “general purposes of the College”, as this will allow us to adapt to changing needs in the future. However, if you prefer, you can indicate that you have an interest in certain areas of expenditure, such as Student Support, Research and Teaching or the overall Student Experience. These categories will remain relevant to the work of the College for the next 50, indeed the next 500 years, so that you can be safe in the knowledge that your gift will go on contributing to the things that you had intended for many years to come. Alternatively if you would like to discuss the direction of your gift in more detail please do not hesitate to contact the Development and Membership Office.

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The Lady Frances Sidney Circle

The College recognises that giving through a will is a very personal matter and one that you may wish to keep private. However, it is useful for the College to have an indication of future legacies so that we can plan for the future, just like you, and also express our gratitude during your lifetime. The Lady Frances Sidney Circle has been established so that we can acknowledge alumni and friends of the College who have chosen to remember Sidney in their will. Membership of the Circle, named after our founding benefactor, is offered to all those who pledge a legacy to the College, along with their partner. Alumni and friends of Sidney in the USA can make a Planned Gift to the College with Cambridge in America. In addition to membership of the Lady Frances Sidney Circle, you will also become eligible to join the 1209 Society, established to recognise the generosity of those who have pledged a legacy to Cambridge. For further information about leaving a legacy to the College, please contact the Development and Membership Office, +44 (0)1223 338881,

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Development & Membership Office Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge cb2 3hu Tel: +44 (0)1223 338881 Email:

Front cover image: James Appleton

A Legacy to Sidney Sussex College  

Sidney Sussex College Legacy Brochure