Michael Baker Tutorship in Physics appeal completed with £1 million raised

We are delighted to announce the completion of the Michael Baker Tutorship in Physics appeal. Just over £1 million has been raised in gifts and pledges to establish a dedicated endowment fund at Merton, which will provide financial backing in perpetuity for one of our three Fellowship teaching posts in Physics. This will secure the permanence of the post, thereby helping to preserve the exceptional quality of the Tutorial System for future generations of students. The first holder of the Michael Baker Tutorship will be formally appointed at the end of Hilary term 2022.

We are enormously grateful to the 139 alumni and friends who supported this appeal. As our first tutor in Physics, Michael played an indispensable role in establishing the Merton Physics School and building it into the intellectual powerhouse it is today. He is remembered as a very supportive and caring teacher, and he was a passionate advocate for the Tutorial System, towards which he left a generous gift in his will. We are pleased to share two addresses from the memorial service for Michael, by Professors James Binney (Emeritus Fellow) and Mark Newton (1986), which vividly describe the great impact he made on the College and his students.

For their exceptional support and leadership during this appeal, we would like to extend special thanks to MC3 Life Trustee Mr Reg Hall (1954) and Professor Stephen Quake (1991). Reg and Stephen’s matching gifts contributed significantly to the Tutorship fund and inspired many other alumni and friends to make donations. We are also very grateful to Dr Simon Orebi Gann (1968) and his daughter, Professor Gabriel Orebi Gann (2004), for their munificent contribution.

The completion of this appeal marks further progress in the College’s goal of securing the Tutorial System for future generations. We aim to underpin all our Fellowship teaching posts (known as ‘Tutorships’) with endowment funds, which will protect them from financial shocks of the kind we experienced in 2020 at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. So far, and thanks to the generosity of our donors, 11 of the College’s 29 Tutorships are funded in this way. Looking to the future, we hope our alumni and friends will continue to support these important academic posts, without which the unparalleled opportunities provided by the Tutorial System would not exist.