Why I’m supporting the University of Bath in my will
Alumna Barbara Nunn (BSc Mathematics 1978) explains how working with young people inspired her to pledge financial support for future Bath students.
“I loved my time at Bath. I chose to study there in the seventies because it offered a Maths degree with concurrent Certificate in Education and 6-month work placement built in over four years, something you couldn’t do anywhere else in those days. The city is wonderful; I used to enjoy wandering around the shops on a Saturday and absorbing the atmosphere among those magnificent buildings.
Like many students, I didn’t find the transition to student life easy. I lived in the most horrendous student house you can imagine! And yet, it was the most wonderful time of my whole life because it developed my confidence. For me, university isn’t just about passing exams to get a job; the life experience you gain is tremendous and shapes everything to come in future.
I was fortunate to have support from my family but many are not so lucky. All my working life, I’ve been a teacher and careers adviser, so I’ve seen how difficult things can be for students. I received a maintenance grant and didn’t need a student loan, but things have changed. It’s not just financial worries young people face today, but concerns about how to find jobs and gain experience, especially when you’re the first in your family to go to university as I was.
I first started supporting the Alumni Fund a few years ago after I was contacted during the student telethon. It’s only a small monthly contribution, but it’s wonderful to be back in contact with the University and lending my support. Student life was so important for my personal development and I’d like others to be able to have that opportunity. That’s why, more recently, I also decided to include the University in my Will, which will enable me to make a more substantial difference later.
“My working life has been about helping young people to achieve their goals in life often against great odds so, for me, leaving a gift in my Will to fund scholarships is perfect.”
I made this decision after coming back to the campus and meeting students and staff. The University is so welcoming, and the atmosphere both positive and encouraging. Discussions with senior managers made me feel confident that my financial investment would be well used in ways that I would feel comfortable with, and would be as secure as it is possible to predict. Talking and listening to scholarship students, I was so impressed by the difficulties that they had already overcome simply to be there. Bath is a much more competitive place to get into these days and you now need much higher grades than I have and also more proven commitment! My working life has been about helping young people to achieve their goals in life often against great odds so, for me, leaving a gift in my Will to fund scholarships is perfect.
Having visited Bath again, I truly believe that the University can nurture the abilities of its scholarship students and that my financial backing can make a real difference. That’s why I’m leaving a proportion of my estate to fund the Barbara Nunn Scholarships. I know my parents, too, would be delighted that the family name will be carried on in connection with helping those who lack the support they need to realise their full capabilities.
If you are thinking about leaving a gift in your Will but have doubts or haven’t got around to taking action, I’d say go and visit the University as a first step. See the campus, talk to some scholarship students and see what the atmosphere is like. The Development team was happy to help me organise such a visit. I believe in making the most of opportunities, and I’m glad I’ve taken this particular opportunity to play a part in giving young people in future generations the means to develop their potential.”