‘Inspiring Generations’ fundraising campaign launched

Student Leah Kenny pictured in front of, and in the mural marking the launch of the campaign.

Trinity College Dublin launched the public phase of its €400 million fundraising campaign today. ‘Inspiring Generations’ is the University’s first major philanthropic campaign in its more than 400-year history and the largest ever undertaken in education on the island of Ireland.

‘Inspiring Generations’ will support transformative educational experiences across the University that will attract the most innovative academics, and the most talented students from all backgrounds, from the world over. Together they will research and address some of the major global issues of our time, from environmental challenges to cancer treatment.

Key flagship projects that will benefit from philanthropic funding include the Trinity St James’s Cancer Institute that will transform cancer patient care; the new E3 Institute in Engineering, Environment and Emerging Technologies that will find balanced solutions for a better world; and the conservation and redevelopment of Trinity’s historic Old Library and the creation of a research study centre.  Priority will also be given to student scholarships and new academic posts that will enable expansion and innovation across education and research. The public launch of ‘Inspiring Generations’ commences with €272m already raised, which represents 42,933 donations by 10,244 donors from 68 countries.

Senator and alumna, Lynn Ruane with students Leah Kenny & Eoin Caffrey also a Naughton scholar.

Speaking at the public launch of ‘Inspiring Generations’, Dr Patrick Prendergast, Trinity’s Provost said:

“At Trinity, our history inspires and informs our future. Trinity was founded on lands granted by Dublin Corporation in 1592, and since then our College has helped to shape a better-informed and more equal society – in Ireland and around the world. We’ve achieved this by producing exceptional research, delivering a transformative education and inspiring Trinity alumni to make a positive contribution to the world.”

“We are dedicated to pursuing innovation in education and research, and fearlessly advancing the cause of a pluralistic, just and sustainable society. ‘Inspiring Generations’ will enable Trinity to achieve these ambitions and inspire generations to come. Our vision is by no means wholly dependent on philanthropy; but Trinity would not be the place it is today without support from alumni and friends of the University.”

“Our ambitious Campaign goals are €400m in donations and 150,000 volunteer hours. ‘Inspiring Generations’ will advance Trinity into the next decade and lay the groundwork for us to inspire generations to come.”

The national launch of the campaign will be followed by international launches in major cities worldwide in the coming weeks including London, Paris and in the US and Asia.

The Provost’s Council, made up of a core group of alumni and supporters, has worked closely with Trinity on the planning of ‘Inspiring Generations’.

Chair of the Provost’s Council, Fergal Naughton with Provost, Dr Prendergast and students, Leah and Eoin.

Fergal Naughton, CEO of Glen Dimplex and Chair of the Provost’s Council said:

“I am delighted to be part of this ambitious campaign and I call on fellow alumni and supporters of Trinity here in Ireland and the world over to join us. Trinity has a history of innovation, inspiring people to change the world. Your support will allow Trinity to pursue ambitious initiatives that anticipate emerging global trends and develop solutions for society’s most pressing challenges. This campaign can be your legacy for future generations – come join us.”

Central to ‘Inspiring Generations’ will be the delivery of a transformative Trinity education and widening access for future students.

It will build on the University’s scholarship programme for talented students who dream of studying at Trinity. It will fund new academic posts and professorships – the lifeblood of the University – attracting the best educators, researchers and postgraduate students.

It will also enable the Trinity Access Programme to scale up. Building on the success of this first access programme in Ireland founded 25 years ago, it will expand its outreach to schools nationwide and its existing student programmes.

Senator Lynn Ruane a recent graduate of Trinity said:

“Education has had a transformative influence on my life. Thanks to the Trinity Access Programme which enabled me to study at Trinity I have had an educational experience that has quite literally changed my life. I hope that this campaign will help provide access for many more to benefit from this unique Trinity education.”

In healthcare, the new Trinity St James’s Cancer Institute will transform cancer treatment in Ireland by integrating research, medicine and training with highly individualised care for cancer patients.

Tackling global challenges across Engineering, Environment and Emerging Technologies, the landmark E3 Institute will put Trinity at the forefront of the national drive to establish Ireland as a European leader in research and innovation. Building starts this year on this state- of- the- art E3 facility.

A redevelopment plan for the Old Library will protect and conserve Trinity’s historic Old Library and its unique collections. It will make them more accessible to visitors with a new Research Study Centre, improved facilities and the application of new digital technology.

The Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute will also be further developed as a focal point for the Arts and Humanities.

These are just some of the key initiatives that feature in ‘Inspiring Generations’.  The campaign will provide Trinity with the resources it needs to attract the brightest minds, create the environment for world class research and to ensure Trinity remains a global leader in higher education tackling society’s most complex challenges.

Marking the launch of the philanthropic campaign, Trinity commissioned a mural by artist Joe Caslin, at the Campanile in Front Square:

‘The Youth Need to see their Greatness reflected in our eyes’ is a powerful new piece created by artist Joe Caslin to celebrate the launch of ‘Inspiring Generations’ Campaign for Trinity College Dublin.

‘Inspiring Generations’ is about harnessing Trinity’s past and present achievements as a means of charting our future. It builds on the many and great successes of our students, alumni  and staff to signal what is yet to come.

The artwork features Samuel Beckett, Nobel Laureate and one of Trinity’s most celebrated alumni, alongside Leah Kenny, a current Trinity student who wrote her final year thesis on Beckett and his work as part of her undergraduate English degree.

This artwork, a visual representation of ‘Inspiring Generations’ shows Beckett passing on his knowledge and inspiring the next generation to rise up and make their mark on the world.

Beckett looks to the viewer in a relaxed pose with his notebook open and right hand pointing his pen to his heart, from which he always wrote.  His fingers point towards Leah, who, lost in thought, represents a new generation of scholarship in Trinity.

Leah came to Trinity through its Access Programme and has written about how Beckett’s work seemed inaccessible to her at first, until she came to study his original manuscripts and letters in Trinity Library.  She brought her love of Beckett’s work home to her grandparents who described watching Waiting for Godot with Leah as a “key being turned in a lock, the lifting of an intellectual curtain”.

The Campanile represents Trinity as the source of this constant inspiration.  A constant presence as people come and go, it will inspire generations for the next 400 years.

Media Contact:

Caoimhe Ni Lochlainn, Head of Media Relations | nilochlc@tcd.ie | +353 1 896 2310 / +353 87 995 8014 (out of office hours)