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Alumni & Friends

To you from Alumni

#toyoufromalumni FAQs

What’s the significance of the Talbot Fund gift tags at Keble?

The gift tags pictured on this page denote items that have been purchased, or buildings and rooms that have been restored or refurbished, with significant philanthropic support from Keble alumni and friends.


Which Keble alumni?

From alumni who matriculated back in the 1940s right through to young alumni who left very recently. Over half of all alumni have supported Keble and Keble students since the Talbot Fund was set up in 2002. Almost 1 in 4 Keble alumni make a regular gift every year. Yes, every year.

Which Keble friends?

Usually someone who has a very direct connection to our alumni – parents, family members and friends of alumni. Also current and former members of staff (both support staff and academic staff). Some trusts support us too and, again, there tends to be a very direct connection via a Keble alum.

How much do they give?

Together, over £1m a year to the Talbot Fund for the last 6 years. Individuals give what they can afford; it might be £20 a year, or £20 a month, or £20,000 a year. The key is that c2,500 people make regular gifts and every £20 adds up to significant and transformative support for current students.

Why do Keble alumni and friends give?

For all kinds of reasons but mostly because Keble remains important to them. They keep in touch, they care about College’s well-being, they understand the College financial position and they want Keble students like you to make the most of everything on offer here. And because we ask them!

What kinds of things are funded by Keble alumni and friends?

Every Keble building you see has been funded with philanthropic support and in many cases some significant legacies, such as the late Douglas Price, a former student and Fellow, whose bequest helped to fund the Sloane Robinson Building. Through the Talbot Fund, which was introduced in 2002, our alumni and friends support the core activities of College: teaching, research, looking after the needs of students and our buildings. The latter is mainly what you see with gift-tags across College. Here’s a list:

Butterfield Restoration: Extensive phased restoration and refurbishment over several years has seen almost all student rooms and corridors in Liddon and Pusey restored and refurbished. Also the Lodge, student pidges, main entrance tunnel, administrative offices and tutors’ rooms. Example cost of a single phase of restoration = £850k

Chapel: new sound system, new lighting, Tickell Chapel Organ (installed in 2011 with funding of £675k)

Hall Restoration: lengthy phased restoration and refurbishment involving cleaning the ceiling, walls, wood panelling, tables and benches, replacing floor tiles, installing a lift, repairing and cleaning windows and increasing and reconfiguring the servery. Recent phase:   £1.1m

Library: digitisation of the Regensburg Lectionary, books, oak Library chairs (£300 each) – look for the little round brass disc to see individual names.

Hayward, de Breyne, ARCO and Sloane Robinson buildings: built in the 1970s, 1990s and 2000s following major fundraising campaigns supported by alumni, friends and charitable trusts. The O’Reilly Theatre, home to Keble drama and the Martin Esslin Society, was named in honour of one of the major donors to the Sloane Robinson building.

Benches: if you take the time to look closely, you will see that all benches dotted around the quads have little brass plaques bearing the names of donors. Recent benches cost = £2,600.

Water feature: donated in 2010 by Heidi Harrison (1992) for benefit of finalists living in ARCO – and the ducks!

Plant pots outside JCR: donated in 2016 in memory of the late Hugh Gibson (1968) by his Keble friends.

Magnolia in Pusey: presented to the Alumni and Development Office by 1983-1989 alumni on the occasion of their Reunion in 2008.

Copper Beech in Pusey: in memory of Michael Zola (1965).

Pictures and Prints: an original Brian Lewis painting (featured on the Keble jigsaw puzzle) in the Warden’s Lodgings; a limited edition Hugh Casson print of Keble in the Alumni & Development Office, countless donations to the College archives from alumni all over the world.

What else do Keble alumni and friends support at Keble?

Many projects supported by alumni and friends are not physical items at all. Some support enables and encourages potential students to make successful applications to Keble; some support provides vital bursaries and scholarships for current students and some support helps student societies and sports to thrive. In brief, funding is provided for:

Academic Projects: Bursaries (c50% all Oxford bursaries and 100% of all Keble bursaries), graduate scholarships, academic prizes, hardship grants for undergrad and grad students, the College’s Access and Outreach programme, teaching to support the tutorial system including early career academics and visiting scholars.

Community Projects: sports teams and societies like music and drama, Keble at Large, Friends of the Chapel – the list is long! Also the Keble Association which provides student travel grants for academic related conferences, humanitarian projects and field trips.

You may not be able to ‘see’ bursary and scholarship support but you can know for sure that it’s all around you. It is evidenced by the diverse and vibrant community which exists here. And with the added community support for societies and sports, current students are encouraged to develop their interests and passions and fully engage in the life of the College.

Any other questions?

Please do let us know. You can email us at

With huge thanks to the thousands of Keble alumni and friends who support us every year!