The Goldsmiths community is not just the number of alumni and supporters we have. They are the individuals who make our community thrive by choosing to remain involved – whether through financial contributions or giving back the gift of their time.
There are as many reasons why alumni support Goldsmiths as there are ways for them to do it. Some alumni remember the challenges they faced as a student or as a recent graduate and want to help others feel supported now that they have found their way. Others make a monthly donation due to the ongoing affinity they feel towards Goldsmiths and in recognition of the often transformative experience they had while here.
For alumni no longer living in the UK it can be a way of feeling connected to the time they had in New Cross as well as a means to make new connections where they are based now. Whatever the initial reason for supporting Goldsmiths, both our alumni and friends continue their support because improving the experience of others or contributing to an environment where change is made to happen, is in itself a hugely rewarding experience.
For our students, the firsthand insights and understanding that comes from those who came before are invaluable. Not all students come to university with a sense of belonging but through the generosity of our alumni and friends, many leave feeling they both belong and that support is on hand when they might need it.
Find out more about donating to or volunteering for Goldsmiths or email alumni (@gold.ac.uk).
Meet some of our alumni and friends who make this possible:
Gallery Donor: Fiona Rae
Over the last 25 years, Fiona's (BA Fine Art, 1987) abstract paintings have been included in exhibitions in museums and galleries worldwide. She served as a Tate Artist Trustee from 2005-2009 and in 2011 was appointed Professor of Painting at the Royal Academy, one of the first two female professors since the Academy was founded in 1768. In 2015 the Timothy Taylor Gallery hosted its fourth solo exhibition by Fiona, comprised of a new series of greyscale paintings accompanied by smaller charcoal drawings. She donated one of her greyscale paintings to an auction at Christie’s, contributing toward the £1.4m raised by the sale of Goldsmiths alumni art to build an art gallery on campus. In addition to her significant donation, Fiona has done a great deal of work to support the fundraising drive for the gallery, helping us foster the support of other artists and helping too with the publicity for this very important campaign – the first of its kind at Goldsmiths.
"I wanted to support the new art gallery to thank Goldsmiths for giving me such an inspiring education as an art student, and because I think that having an art gallery on campus will be a lively and exciting resource for all the students."
Annual Fund Donor: Mark Mitchell
Mark (BA English, 1982) has been a journalist for 34 years, 27 of them at the BBC where he worked as a reporter, producer, editor and training manager. In 2015 he launched himself as a self-employed photographer and media consultant. Mark has been generously donating to the Annual Fund every month since its inception in 2009 and has just been offered a place on the MA Photography: The Image and Electronic Arts programme at Goldsmiths. Mark has this to say about why he continues to give:
"I give to the Annual Fund in recognition of the part Goldsmiths played in preparing me for a successful and satisfying career, and igniting an intellectual curiosity which apparently still burns."
Annual Fund Donor: Kay Albrecht
Kay (BMus Music, 1979) went on to work as a journalist in London, writing for Britain's longest-running weekly women's magazine "The Lady" and Britain’s oldest classical music magazine "Musical Opinion". Kay and her family moved to Yorkshire in 1997 where she continues to write occasional play and concert reviews for her local newspaper, play the piano at musical gatherings and accompany local drama groups and singing classes. Kay has fond memories of her time at Goldsmiths and has been donating to the Annual Fund since 2011:
"I had an excellent time at Goldsmiths, making lifelong friends. I continue giving to the Annual Fund because I want to help others enjoy similar opportunities."
Alumni Ambassador: Sophia Cooper
Sophia (MA Photography: The Image and Electronic Arts, 2013) is the Special Programmes Coordinator at the local legislature in Tobago where she creates content for the public. As an Alumni Ambassador for Trinidad and Tobago, Sophia is the primary point of contact between Goldsmiths and alumni based in her area, and has this to say about her time at Goldsmiths and why she volunteers:
"Goldsmiths was the right place for me! It offered an environment for me to explore my creativity and to be innovative. Now, I get to give back by supporting a network of people that can continue those experiences wherever they are in the world."
Volunteer Speaker: Oliver Holtaway
Oliver (MA Critical and Creative Analysis, 2013) is a communications consultant now focusing on social enterprises and the cooperative movement. He has worked locally with the New Cross Gate Trust to evaluate and communicate the social impact of its activities and is currently involved in a community ownership project for Bath City FC. Oliver returned to Goldsmiths to speak at the launch event of our online platform, Goldsmiths Connect.
"Taking a career break to study for an MA at Goldsmiths was a life-changing experience for me, so I was very happy to be invited back to meet current students and share my experiences. It felt good to be able to help and offer career advice - but more than that, it was really inspiring to hear from Goldsmiths students about their ambitions and the mark they want to make on the world. Volunteering has made me feel more connected to the Goldsmiths community."