2021 Volunteers of the Year named!

Virginia Stuart-Taylor (Spanish, Italian with proficiency in Portuguese, 2012) has jointly won the Debbie Hill Award for the Exceptional Support of Students.

Virginia was nominated for her work organising an event series for alumnae in 2020 and as a committee member of the Alumnae group, as well as mentoring students through the Career Mentor Scheme, giving careers talks, participating in online open days and taking over the @exeterunilife Instagram account to showcase her career, as well as much more.

David Watson, Head of Alumni and Supporter Engagement, said: "The diverse range of volunteering activity that Virginia has kindly provided to the University over the last 12 months, and a long time before that, is incredible.

"Her ongoing Alumnae Group support, speaking at panel events, supporting our students to grow their employability skills, assisting in various student recruitment initiatives, amongst many many other activities she has been a part of, shows her valued dedication to help Exeter and the current students. The panel were in full agreement that Virginia deserved to be a joint winner this year, and the alumni team are very grateful to her for the support she always provides."

Virginia said: "I am both thrilled and honoured to receive this award in recognition of my support for Exeter students! It’s particularly satisfying to be rewarded for something that I happen to really enjoy doing, as it’s equally rewarding for me to help the students and see their early careers start to flourish."

Alumni support during 2020-21

More than 100 of our Humanities alumni have kindly volunteered their time during the past academic year to support students in various ways; by taking part in virtual employability events and mock interviews, delivering a panel discussion on their MA and post MA experiences, as well as running a number of theatre workshops.

We have had alumni support the ‘Humanities for All’ initiative which aims to engage and support state-school students. Additionally, 18 alumni from Humanities spoke at virtual panel events during a Careers Insight week which formed part of the Exeter Scholars programme.

This provided 40 sixth form students with an opportunity to engage with alumni from a range of disciplines, and to give them the opportunity to find out more about specific jobs and potential careers within a range of sectors.

We are always so grateful for all the time our alumni give to the University to support various initiatives and love to hear how rewarding they find the experience too. Beth Wright (BA English 2014) and Rob Walker (BA English and Drama 1997) talk here about giving back to the University.

A. G. Leventis Foundation funds new Chair in Classics and Ancient History at the University of Exeter

Classics teaching and research at the University of Exeter will benefit for years to come, thanks to additional support from the A. G. Leventis Foundation.

The Foundation has supported research at Exeter for almost 25 years and will be marking this milestone with a gift of £1.2 million to endow a new Chair within the Department of Classics and Ancient History.

The A. G. Leventis Chair in Ancient Scientific and Technological Thought will be unique within the UK and will play an extremely significant role in promoting research, teaching and wider public engagement in this increasingly important field.

It will also help to transform the role of the discipline of Classics within contemporary society. The ancient Greek world was intensely innovative and influential for scientific and technological thought. As well as being important in its own right, this innovation also inspired ancient philosophical thinking and poetic activity and went on to influence the future development of science and technology beyond antiquity and into the Byzantine, early modern and modern worlds.

This new Chair will launch an important and emerging programme of scholarship and public engagement at Exeter, consolidating and strengthening the University’s existing partnership with the Foundation and delivering the Foundation’s core ambition to disseminate Greek cultural heritage in a novel and engaging manner.

Professor Barbara Borg, Head of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Exeter said: “This Chair is a huge achievement for the Humanities at Exeter, and gives the Department an enormous boost – not just through the additional Chair, but also through the field of research towards which it is geared. It is both truly innovative and playing to our strengths, raising our profile nationally and internationally.”

Anastasios Leventis, Chairman of the A. G. Leventis Foundation said: “We are delighted to extend our successful partnership with the University of Exeter. This is an important area of research, enhancing understanding of ancient Greek culture and connecting it to global challenges we face today. We are looking forward to seeing what more can be achieved in the coming years.”