Trinity Development and Alumni has raised over €200,000 for the student hardship fund, after launching an appeal for donations last Friday.
In an email to staff and students, Provost Patrick Prendergast said that “many alumni have responded in support of students at this most difficult time”, and described the donation drive – which was launched on behalf of Senior Tutor Aidan Seery – as “extraordinary”.
The student hardship fund, which is operated by the undergraduate student support officer, provides financial support to students in financial difficulty, and is partly funded by the government and the European Social Fund.
In the email, Prendergast also commended Trinity staff fighting on the frontlines of the health service during the coronavirus pandemic.
“While people have been generous with donations”, he said, “many others have been generous with their time and expertise. Parts of the main campus and our campus in St James’s Hospital have been transformed to aid the national effort.”
“Everyone is doing what they can in this time of emergency,” he added.
Earlier this year, the hardship fund drew headlines when an anonymous donor, who had previously used the fund while in Trinity, made a nearly €400,000 donation to the fund.
Speaking to The University Times at the time of the donation, Seery said: “Although we have had two large donations in the last 12 months, we also receive large donations each year – five-figure sums – from the SU and from Alumni.”
Seery added that Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU), Raise and Give (RAG) week would raise “€30 or €40 thousand”, he said.
In 2014, The University Times reported that a combination of increased demand and funding cuts meant that students promised financial aid for the second half of the year would either receive significantly less money or none at all, after the amount of money given to the Trinity Student Assistance Fund was cut by 22 per cent, from €100,000 to €78,000.