Leaving a gift in your Will

Sunset Beach Depositphotos 44288965

The University of Canterbury (UC) is committed to being one of the finest universities in the world and is a leader in teaching and research, providing generations of students with a world class learning environment, a vibrant campus and a great student lifestyle packed with opportunities. We are proud to be ranked in the top 1 percent of universities in the world.

Our donors play a vital role in making UC the respected institution it is today, and thanks to the continued generosity from our supporters, the UC Foundation (the charitable trust that sources donations to support the university) funds endowments, scholarships, research, building improvements and essential equipment to continue this success.

Leaving a gift in your Will is just one of the many ways you can support UC. Your legacy to the UC Foundation invests in the future of tomorrow's students, and every donation, whatever the size, will have a positive impact for years and generations to come.

Mt John bequests

Discoveries of the Southern Sky at Mount John Observatory

Students skateboard sitting arts lawn landscape

Hardship scholarships for the best and brightest


Perpetuating excellence in Engineering

General Funds - Where the need is greatest

General Funds - Where the need is greatest

Supporting UC’s School of Fine Arts

Supporting UC’s School of Fine Arts

Child & Family Psychology

Nurturing the Child & Family Psychology Programme

Mt John Observatory
UC's Physics and Astronomy Department's astronomical observatory on top of Mt John, near Lake Tekapo, provides outstanding conditions for observations and discoveries of the southern sky. Thanks to a generous gift bequeathed to us by the Estate of Brian Morrissey, UC has been able to continue original scientific research in Physics, Astrophysics and Astronomy.  

Bright Start Scholarship
UC provides these highly sought after scholarships to students who have a high academic ability but are prevented from attending tertiary education because of financial or personal circumstances. Thanks to many generous donors over the years, this scholarship continues to provide a helping hand to future generations of students from all regions of New Zealand. In 2017, the estate of Miss Lindsay Helen McDowall and the estate of Amie Jamieson was added to this fund.

Our Civil and Natural Resources Engineering Department is ranked in the top 100 worldwide Civil Engineering departments. Chemical and Process Engineering and Electrical and Electronic Engineering are ranked in the top 250. An Engineering degree from UC is internationally recognised, allowing graduates to work all over the world. Our broad range of postgraduate specialist qualifications are designed to meet industry demand and graduates are sought after locally and internationally. Thanks to a continued stream of generous gifts bequeathed to UC that allow us to continue offering inspirational teaching and innovative research, we are well on our way to becoming one of the top ten engineering colleges in the Southern Hemisphere. The Estate of John Sutherland and the Estate of Annie Shearer have recently supported the UC College of Engineering.

General Fund
The Page General Fund was initiated in 2014 by a donation from Dr Sally Page to enable UC, at the discretion of the UC Foundation Trustees, to financially support:

  1. Research, including travel and other expenses
  2. Student recruitment and retention e.g. Scholarships
  3. New buildings and the costs of fitting them out
  4. Maintenance and upkeep of existing facilities
  5. New equipment used by students and staff

Numerous donors have topped up this fund over the last few years, allowing the UC Foundation to support one or more areas within the University where the need is greatest. The Page General Fund will become endowed in time, thanks to an intended bequest, meaning that the fund will support the above priorities in perpetuity. Donations and top-ups to this fund are always deeply appreciated and allow the UC Foundation to direct gifts to the most crucial area of need within UC at that given time.

Fine Arts
In 1962 a sum of money was bequeathed by Miss I D Harkness in memory of her sister, Miss Muriel Harkness, a former student of the School of Fine Arts, for the general purposes of the School, and for the general development and appreciation of art throughout Canterbury.  This remarkable act of generosity currently funds a series of invited lectures; a scholar in residence; a visiting practitioner and/or short-term artist-in-residence programme; exhibitions; and research programmes. 

Child and Family Psychology
The UC postgraduate Child and Family Psychology programme is unique within New Zealand and is taught by academic and clinical staff from the UC School of Health Sciences with other teaching staff as appropriate. It was designed to meet market demand for registered psychologists specifically trained to work with children, adolescents and families. The programme focuses on children’s mental health and emotional well-being, in addition to their learning and aims to reflect the social and political context of children in Aotearoa (New Zealand) with an appropriate bicultural emphasis. In 2011, The Estate of Anne Wignall’s kindly left a bequest that supported the intensive training of a student studying a Postgraduate Diploma in the Child and Family Psychology programme.  Anne’s gift covers the associated fees for clinical teaching and supervision, as well as an internship position. 

Gifts left to the UC Foundation support the work of the university and can be of any value (large or small) and directed to anything you choose. Traditionally a gift in your Will support five key areas:

  • Student support services and scholarships
  • Research and teaching
  • Libraries and collections
  • Buildings and facilities
  • General purposes

To read further, please click here for an overview of each area, or download our

The Alumni & UC Foundation team can help you realise your vision for your gift, whether you choose to support a specific area of UC or direct your gift to general purposes – meaning that it will be directed to the most crucial area of need. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss your ideas at any time under no obligation in a place and time that was convenient for you.

It is extremely helpful for us to know if you have left a gift in your Will. This ensures we can acknowledge your generous support and allows us to plan ahead. There is no need to specify an amount, just a simple phone call or email to tell us you have formally made this pledge through your Will, or that you are thinking about making a pledge and wish to discuss the details.

You may want to discuss your wishes with your immediate family. We strongly recommend you seek independent legal advice when writing or altering your Will.

If you already have a Will, the wording below will help your legal advisor prepare a codicil to reflect any changes you wish to make. The same wording can be incorporated into your bequest clause if you are writing a Will for the first time.

(Delete as appropriate): “I give the University of Canterbury Foundation the sum of $.....(or a percentage, or the residue of my Estate, or a description of the property or asset given) for the general purposes of the University (or a stipulated purpose) and declare that the receipt of the University of Canterbury Foundation will be a full discharge to my trustee”.

NZ Registered Charity Number: CC27669

The UC Partners in Excellence Programme has been set up to honour the generosity of individuals and families who plan to leave gifts in their Will to the UC Foundation. When you notify us that we have been remembered in your Will, you automatically become a Partners in Excellence member. This prestigious group of benefactors includes a growing number of like-minded alumni and friends of the university. Members are kept informed of news and activities, and are invited to an exciting calendar of events throughout the year. Being a valued part of the programme means we can thank you in your lifetime and share our mutual passion for higher education. We will, of course, respect your wishes should you prefer to remain anonymous.

If you do decide to share your intentions of leaving a gift in your Will with us, we can work with you to understand more about your wishes. We will use your gift carefully and efficiently so that it has the greatest impact, and give you the opportunity to connect with our current work.

What can I leave to the University of Canterbury Foundation?
Many of our donors choose to leave a sum of money, however property, insurances, investments and other assets can also be gifted. If you would like to leave money, you have two choices – you can leave a specific sum of money, or you can leave a share of your estate. The advantage of leaving a share of your estate is that the value of your bequest will not be eroded over time with the effects of inflation, which would be the case if you specify a sum. A dollar today may not be worth the same in ten years’ time. You can also choose to leave a residual gift – the balance of your estate once all specific bequests have been allocated.

I am thinking of leaving a scholarship to help a specific group of students. Is this possible?
Yes. You are welcome to identify the areas or purpose you would like to support. Current projects are likely change in the future, and providing the UC Foundation with some flexibility means your gift will be used where the need is greatest. However, if you do wish to choose a specific purpose we can discuss this with you to ensure we can identify a suitable fund or project, and can honour your wishes in the long term. In the case of endowment funds, we have specific wording you can use.

Do I need to draw up a new Will to include my gift?
No. A document called a codicil can be used to add a UC Foundation gift to an existing Will. A legal adviser will need to be consulted for this but it is inexpensive, quick and very easy to do.

Do I have to tell the University about my intentions?
This is at your discretion and we appreciate that making your Will is a very personal decision. We encourage you to notify us of your intentions so that we may express gratitude during your lifeline and include you as a member of our Partners in Excellence Programme. This doesn’t mean you are obligated in any way to leave a gift, and we respect your freedom to change your mind at any time.

Useful Information

Sign up here to receive a copy of our latest UC bequest brochure:

University of Canterbury Foundation
Kathryn Marshall
Email: kathryn.marshall@canterbury.ac.nz
Phone: +64 3 369 5530
Alumni & UC Foundation
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand
If you would prefer us to get in contact with you, please just complete and return this UCF reply slip which provides us with all the necessary information.