Over the past few months we have been in discussion with the Campaigns and Supporter Engagement Office (CSEO) to agree on the way ahead for us at a time when the University is reshaping its management structures so as to make best use of its resources.
As a result, we as an Association have largely taken over our own administration, while still making use of the University as our base and as provider of practical assistance in matters of managing our finances and of printing and circulation of papers.
We now manage our own membership database, which we think will actually make communication easier in the future. We have also re-designed our website and hope that this will assist us in making it more timely and informative.
Importantly, members of your Executive Committee have stepped forward to take over those functions needed to run the Association, the new officers being:
- Peter Must: Hon. Secretary, looking after the Executive Committee and the Yearly Meeting;
- Brenda Morris: Membership Secretary, dealing with subscriptions and arrangements for events;
- Annette Haworth: Grants Officer, inviting applications for grants and presenting them to the Executive Committee to select cases for recommendation to the Yearly Meeting. She is also our IT mastermind.
This is still a learning curve for all of us and I know you will bear with us if further challenges arise. Indeed, the new arrangements envisage others joining in to help: we will be most grateful for any further assistance offered. Meanwhile, I trust you will accept that our measures have been necessary to keep the Friends’ Association alive and well, with a solid platform for future growth and activity. As evidence of this I have pleasure in enclosing our programme for 2016. We hope to see as many of you as possible at these events, starting with the visit to Classics on 20 April, and including some really special treats – notably the Vice-Chancellor’s invitation for 29 June.
Andrew Palmer (Chairman)
CLOSING DATE FOR 2018 is 17 April
If you have trouble accessing the form or need further information, please email email@example.com
Normally, the closing date for applications is early in the Summer Term. The exact date will be advertised in the preceding February. Decisions are confirmed by The Friends normally by mid-June.
Each year we give out around half a dozen grants ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand pounds, responding to applications for projects which would not normally be funded from University academic resources. In this way we enrich students’ experiences, provide additional social and cultural amenities, enhance the University’s landscape and support its outreach into the community.
Students across University life benefit from contributions. Examples include musical instruments, covers and a synthetic cricket wicket and boats and sets of oars for the University Boat Club.
Donations to Departments and Schools include the purchase of paintings and other works of art, storage facilities, display cabinets, garden seats and trees. The ceremonial furniture seen in the Great Hall at London Road at Graduation ceremonies was among our earliest grants; we have since since contributed to the refurbishment of its organ.
Our funding has enhanced University landmarks enjoyed by the general public, including The Friends’ Bridge over Whiteknights Lake, plantings around the lake, and the cloisters that characterise London Road campus. The fine stained-glass window at the Museum of English Rural Life and music stands for concerts by Music at Reading are other examples.
The Friends are particularly interested in projects which support the University’s outreach into the wider community. Past examples of such grants include a 3D model of a DNA molecule which can be used both for University teaching and in schools, support of community events such as the Big Band Picnic and completion of an African Drum circle to enable workshops to be held outside the normal curriculum,with local schools and at community events.
- The Friends are liaising with the Senior Common Room, The University Women’s Club, Two Rivers Press and local charity RG Spaces to open up the Acacias and tell the story of Professor Edith Morley and the London Rd campus in her day. The event will run 8/9 and 16/16 September 12noon-6pm. It forms part of the national Heritage Open Days and Vote100 Reading. Members of the Friends are invited to volunteer to man the exhibition. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Visit to Bermondsey and Rotherhithe 20 October 2018
- A talk by Richard van Emden.
Some Past Events
- THE RUBC HAS HAD TO CANCEL THIS EVENT DUE TO WEATHER & RIVER CONDITIONS
- University choirs (Campus Voices, Academic Voices, and Chamber Choir, plus the Institute of Education’s Universal Voices children’s choir) will be performing in an advent concert on Thursday 7 December, at Christ Church (Christchurch Road, Reading, RG2 7AJ). The concert is free, but there will be a retiring collection for Nordoff Robbins, a music therapy charity. All welcome.
- Friends are most welcome to the University Carol Service which is taking place on Monday 4 December at 6pm in the Great Hall featuring the Chamber Choir and readings from University members.
- The Big Band have their annual Swing Ball taking place on Saturday 25 November. This promises to be a great evening, with fantastic entertainment from the University Big Band and Reading Boys School Big Band, plus a swing dance taster session and performances from the University Swing Dance Society. This event has sold out in the past, so you are advised to book tickets in advance as soon as possible. https://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/music/Events/SwingBall.aspx
- Professor Farrelly Head of the University’s new School of Architecture has invited us to visit. Further details will be available in August.
- A guided tour of the area. Further details available in August.
- Inspired by Reading’s Victorian Turbine, All of a Twist is an exhibition of the science and technology of twisty-turny stuff under, on, above and beside Reading’s rivers. Thermals, tornados, whirlpools, watermills, willow, spirogyra, towrope, wool, DNA and turbines have all affected Reading, its river dwellers, monks, red kites and now us one way or another. Advised by Reading-based scientists, most from the University, local charity RG Spaces is mounting this exhibition at the Turbine House on the River Kennet courtesy Reading Museum. A special viewing for members of Friends of the University & their guests will be held on 6 Sept. Please arrive ...
- Professor Mike Fulford has invited us to the site of the new temple dig at Silchester. Further details will be available at the beginning of August.
- The Friends will be represented at this event showing a collection of historic University photos. The Shepherds Hut which The Friends helped fund is being unveiled decorated by the Mewes Knitters alongside many other community activities. Everyone is invited to bring along a picnic, and any family teasures you would like evaluated. See Community Treasures This is an excellent opportunity to get up to date with the changes the Friends are helping make in the Museum garden.
- The Friends was honoured to be inducted into the University’s College of Benefactors at the degree ceremony in the Great Hall on 6 July 2017. Dr Chris Gayford received the honour from the Chancellor followed by a presentation from the Vice-Chancellor, Sir David Bell in the Acacias.