A gift in your Will could transform lives for generations.

The impact of education and research on people's lives is undeniable and should be available to everyone, everywhere. Below are just a few examples of how gifts have impacted the lives of students, researchers and the University.

Discoveries of the Southern Sky at Mt John

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.  

Learn more about UC at Mt John

UC Māpura Bright Start Scholarship

UC provides these highly sought after scholarships to students who have 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.

Perpetuating Excellence in Engineering

The UC Engineering degree is internationally recognised, allowing our graduates to work all over the world. 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. 

UC School of 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. 

Chrystabel Aitken was a respected artist and a member of the Christchurch ‘Group' art collective from 1936 to 1966, an elected member of the New Zealand Society of Artists and a member of the Canterbury Society of Artists. After a full and happy life, she passed away 6 weeks short of her 101st birthday in 2005. Her memory lives on with the Chrystabel L Aitken Scholarship for Fine Arts, which was established to support students in the School of Fine Arts who face financial challenges.

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. 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 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. 

Limnology and Environmental Science

Vida Stout was a member of a highly distinguished New Zealand family. Her father was a surgeon and Vice Chancellor of Victoria University Wellington and her grandfather was the 13th premier of New Zealand and later Chief Justice.  In 1968 she and the late Ann Chapman founded the New Zealand Limnological Society (now the NZ Freshwater Sciences Society) as a forum where freshwater workers could meet at an annual conference and contribute to a newsletter. The Society, now in its 44th year is one of their greatest legacies.

Science Outreach Programme

Dr Brian Mason’s legacy to The University of Canterbury was to fund the Outreach Programme based in UC's College of Science. Established in 1999 this programme encourages young people to study science with the aim of:

  • Encouraging an appreciation of the pivotal place that science holds in modern society.
  • Describing how modern research has the potential to solve some of the big problems of our modern world.
  • Persuading young people that the study of science at UC is rewarding and worthwhile on a personal level as well as in a more altruistic sense.

The Erskine Programme

The University of Canterbury is enormously proud of the endowment left by our distinguished alumnus John Angus Erskine. This bequest enables up to 70 visiting international senior academics to lecture at UC each year (Erskine Fellowship).  Around 25 UC academics are also awarded grants which enables them to travel to overseas institutions to enhance their skills and knowledge (Erskine Grants). 

Learn more about the UC Erskine Programme


UC Provides highly sought after music scholarships to students at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. In 2008 and 2014, the Estate of Nice Hewitt and the Estate of John Langdon enable students to further their studies in music and the arts.

The Library

Thanks to the incredible generosity of many donors, UC's library remains current in a very changing environment, allowing our students and academics to enjoy an era of interconnectedness and intellectual opportunity. In order to support learning, teaching, research and innovation, the Estate of Barbara Hale bequeathed a significant sum to enable UC to continue acquiring printed and digital materials for many generations to come.

Mental Health & Nutrition Research

Our Psychology Department has been at the forefront of nutrition-mental health research for more than a decade, including extensive research using micronutrients. Critically acclaimed work highlights the role of nutrition in the expression and treatment of mental illness, from ADHD to depression to stress following natural disasters. To enable this vital work to continue, funds have been generously topped up from Annual Appeal donors and from a legacy gift left by the Estate of Marie Lockie in 2018.

Mathematics & Statistics

Thanks for the amazing generosity of the Estate of Roger Helm, the Department of Mathematics and Statistics received a huge financial boost in 2016 by way of a bequest. The gift has been used to fund a $5,000 annual scholarship and to contribute to 'Maths Craft' - a UC inter-department collaboration that celebrates the links between mathematics and crafting.

The General Fund

The Page General Fund was initiated in 2014 by a donation from Dr Sally Page to enable the UC Foundation to support areas within the University where the need is greatest. Areas which are supported include research, scholarships, new buildings, maintenance and equipment.