Mica Ertegun, the widow of Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun, is giving £26 million to Oxford University, the largest donation towards the study of humanities in the universitys 900-year history
Mica Ertegun, the widow of Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun, is giving £26 million to Oxford University, the largest donation towards the study of humanities in the university’s 900-year history.
The gift will fund ‘The Mica and Ahmet Ertegun Graduate Scholarship Programme’ which will offer full graduate scholarships to gifted humanities students from around the world. The programme’s first fifteen scholars will begin their studies in September this year, and will be granted exclusive use of Ertegun House, a five-storey building in the centre of Oxford.
The donation will also fund a full-time Ertegun Senior Scholar in Residence, who will mentor the scholars and oversee a programme of lectures, concerts and other activities at Ertegun House. The programme is endowed in perpetuity to award at least 35 graduate humanities scholarships annually.
‘For Ahmet and for me, one of the great joys of life has been the study of history, music, languages, literature, art and archaeology,’ Mrs Ertegun said. ‘My dream is that, one day, Ertegun Scholars will be leaders in every field – as historians and philosophers, as archaeologists and literary scholars, as writers and composers, as statesmen and theologians.’
‘At a time when, in the UK, government support for the Humanitiesis under intense pressure, vision and generosity like this is going to be what saves the field for future generations,’ Oxford’s Vice-Chancellor, Andrew Hamilton said.
The Ertegun’s donation may be one of the largest in the University’s history, but they follow in the footsteps of a number of generous benefactors who have bequeathed schools and scholarships to Oxford over the centuries, from Nuffield College to Said Business School.