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Faculty of Classics

Zaynab Ahmed studying in the Faculty library

The Faculty is enormously grateful to Karen and Peter Ventress for their generous gift to further support our efforts to encourage more diversity among students studying Classics at Cambridge.

Karen and Peter have made a gift of £40k to fund a further studentship under the banner of the Joyce Reynolds Awards. The Awards, named by Professor Mary Beard, in honour of her own Classics Tutor, will pay the £10k a year living costs of undergraduates from minority ethnic groups and low-income homes for the full duration of their degree courses.

Inspired by Mary’s decision to make a retirement gift to the Faculty to support students, Karen and Peter said “We wholeheartedly believe that Classics must be supported and must be open to all. It is such an amazing subject. To that end we’d like to help Mary’s project and enable another student to study Classics.”

Mary commented “I am absolutely delighted that Karen and Peter have contributed so generously to the Joyce Reynolds awards. This makes such a difference to those who may feel anxious about taking on such a big debt, especially in COVID and post-COVID times.”

Remarking on the Joyce Reynolds Awards, Newnham student Zaynab Ahmed said: “I was lucky enough to attend a state grammar that offered Classics/Latin, but it isn’t something that’s taught in many state schools which means a lot of BAME students aren’t exposed to the subject and the opportunities it offers. That’s why the four-year course here is so important, with the preliminary year as a foundation, and these gifts will hopefully mean more students from under-represented groups feel able to apply.

Read more: Mary Beard makes a gift to Classics - and honours Joyce Reynolds

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