21 april 2010

Michael Moritz and Harriet Heyman Awarded Prestigious Sheldon Medal

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Michael Moritz & Harriet Heyman awarded the Sheldon Medal at the North American reunion, April 2010
Michael Moritz, Campaign Chair, North America; and Harriet Heyman, being awarded the Sheldon Medal.

Michael Moritz and Harriet Heyman have been awarded the prestigious Sheldon Medal - the University's highest level of recognition for philanthropy - for their £25 million gift to Christ Church.

The couple’s donation is the largest financial gift in the college’s history, and among the largest ever by an alumnus to an Oxford college.

“This is an expression of our gratitude for the compass of life that Christ Church and the University provided many years ago,” they said.

The donation is being used to fund academic posts, the sciences and mathematics; maintain, modernise and restore buildings; and provide student bursaries to ensure that Oxford attracts the most gifted students, scholars and teaching staff.

A further aspect of the gift is an incentive mechanism to encourage giving by younger generations of Christ Church alumni. One-eighth of the annual income is being released from the Fund when matching donations of £3 million are made by recent Christ Church alumni.

Michael Moritz read Modern History at Christ Church during the 1970s – where he is an Honorary Student – and is a partner at Sequoia Capital, a California-based venture capital firm. Michael is also North American Chair of the Oxford Thinking Campaign and a Campaign Patron.

This is an expression of our gratitude for the compass of life that Christ Church and the University provided many years ago

Michael Moritz and Harriet Heyman

They were presented with the Medal at a dinner which took place at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York and was hosted by the Board of Directors of Americans for Oxford on Friday, April 16. 

The dinner included a performance by members of the Christ Church Music Society and was attended by over 225 Oxonians and friends of the University.

This event was held in conjunction with the 2010 North American Reunion which included various presentations on subjects ranging from Shakespeare to public policy, with the Bodleian Library’s 1217 edition of the Magna Carta on display.

The Chancellor Lord Patten of Barnes and Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Hamilton and a number of friends and alumni were among those in attendance.

The Sheldon Medal is awarded to those donors whose contributions have made a significant strategic difference to the life and work of the University and the colleges.

The couple’s donation was made in June 2008, shortly after at the launch of Oxford Thinking: the Campaign for the University of Oxford, which has a minimum goal of £1.25 billion.

Under the terms of their gift, Christ Church has transferred an additional £75 million of its existing endowment into the Oxford Endowment Fund. The fund was established to improve the management of the University’s long-term funds.

Previous recipients of the Sheldon Medal have been Lord Wolfson FBA, Chairman of the Wolfson Foundation, Mr Wafic Rida Saïd; and Dr James Martin.

The total raised for the Oxford Thinking Campaign now exceeds £800 million.