More than 120 people attended RMIT's Philanthropy High Tea to celebrate the impact of philanthropy at the University.
Donors, alumni, staff and supporters gathered in Storey Hall over a high tea to celebrate and reflect on philanthropy and its future at RMIT, following the University's announcement it will match gifts to scholarships up to $10 million to the end of 2015.
The event heard from a panel of guests including Professor Peter Coloe, Pro Vice-Chancellor Science, Engineering and Health and Vice-President, alumnus and donor to RMIT, Thomas Preuss, and scholarship recipient Madeleine Buchner.
Led by Director of Advancement Melissa Smith, the panel spoke about the impact of philanthropy on the University, their lives and careers, showcasing the full circle of philanthropy.
Mr Preuss shared his experience of giving to RMIT, many years after receiving a John Storey Junior Scholarship when he was a student at the University.
His bequest, pledged to RMIT by Mr Preuss and his partner, will support a scholarship for outstanding physics students with financial disadvantage and a technical fund to support the maintenance of physics equipment at RMIT.
"It will be a better world if everyone has an equal opportunity to access education," he said.
"There is so much potential that can be realised, but it doesn't get realised now because people didn't have the chance."
Professor Coloe said RMIT had a unique position to make a difference as a global university of technology and design.
"RMIT does things that make a difference - in education, in research, in the way that we work with industry, we're always looking to do or make a difference to society," he said.
The event also marked one of Professor Margaret Gardner's last engagements at RMIT as Vice-Chancellor and President.
RMIT's first philanthropy high tea celebrated the impact of philanthropy at the University.
Professor Gardner spoke about the impact of giving to education, and her legacy at RMIT.
"In my nine years here as Vice-Chancellor, I've been humbled to witness the impact individuals can make, at all levels, by giving back to RMIT," she said.
"During my time here I've witnessed first-hand the genuinely inspiring impact philanthropy can have on the lives of individual students.
"I've also seen the impact it has on RMIT both at home in Australia, and on the international stage. It's a legacy I'm proud to be part of."
Professor Gardner also announced two new undergraduate scholarship endowment funds, named for previous Vice-Chancellors, Emeritus Professor David Beanland AO and Emeritus Professor Brian Smith AO.
In May, RMIT celebrated its longstanding commitment to philanthropy by announcing it will match all donations to scholarships up to $10 million to the end of 2015, through the new RMIT Scholarship Philanthropy Fund.
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