Thinking Big in Small Ways

Alumni are supporting equality of opportunity and an exceptional college experience for a new generation of students

A UCD DEGREE CAN OPEN the door to a whole world of opportunity. However, for some students, the pathway to graduation is not easy or straightforward. It is littered with obstacles created by social, educational and financial disadvantages. UCD is firmly committed to breaking down these barriers so that brilliant students from all backgrounds have equal access to an excellent education. We know that the right support at the right time can change the trajectory of a young person’s life. In the wake of the pandemic, the need for support – both financial and emotional – is more pressing than ever before. The past year has been extremely challenging for our students. For some, job losses in the family and the inability to work in the summer months or part-time during the term is resulting in financial hardship and distress. Most have struggled to varying degrees with feelings of anxiety and isolation and it has been a particularly challenging time for those who were already struggling to manage ongoing mental health conditions.


UCD alumni are great supporters of the students following in their footsteps. Thanks to generous philanthropic gifts to UCD Foundation from alumni and friends, we are able to provide more critical mental health services and financial aid than ever before to students in need. Your support is truly a lifeline for our students. To facilitate donors who wish to support student-focused activities and services at UCD, a number of College and School Support Funds have been established to provide funding that supports equality of access to opportunities for students and enhances their educational experience. This initiative is intended to simplify and enhance the experience of giving to UCD, and – critically – it means that students can access support directly when they need it.


Liam Madden (BE 1979) is a founding donor to the College of Engineering and Architecture Support Fund. He explains how his motivation for giving is rooted in his own experience while studying at UCD: “I am delighted to be a founding donor of the Support Fund for Engineering and Architecture. As a student of modest means in the 1970s, I recall my mother, Bridget Madden, taking a part-time job to help pay for my education at UCD. I hope that my donation (in her name) will help students who have financial challenges achieve their educational goals.”


By giving to a College Support Fund, you will join a pool of supporters who are making a huge collective impact. Through your generosity, more students will have access to the resources they need to thrive in all aspects of university life and beyond.

■ To learn more about how you can support UCD students today, visit