Recognising your gift

We are delighted to recognise the generosity of our donors in a variety of ways. You can read about some of the formal means of acknowledgement below.

Formal recognition

The University runs a series of events that aim to keep donors informed about the areas they have supported.

Kellogg College

Naming opportunities

The Ashmolean Museum and Bodleian Library were both named in honour of their benefactors. This tradition lives on at Oxford and we offer naming opportunities related to buildings, schools, libraries, institutes, chairs, posts, scholarships, plaques and rolls of honour where appropriate. Some benefactors also choose to honour relatives and eminent figures in this way.

Vice-Chancellor's Circle

The Vice-Chancellor’s Circle

The Vice-Chancellor’s Circle recognises individuals, foundations and corporate benefactors who have provided generous support to the collegiate University. Members receive regular communications from the Vice-Chancellor and senior officers, and are invited to an annual members' event.

Vice-Chancellor's Guild

The Vice-Chancellor’s Guild

The University’s newest recognition society celebrates giving at a higher level by individuals, trusts, foundations and corporations. The launch of the Guild in 2023 coincided with the appointment of the new Vice-Chancellor, Professor Irene Tracey. Alongside regular communications from the Vice-Chancellor, members of the Guild will also receive an invitation to an annual dinner in Oxford, as well as to online events which engage benefactors around the world. These activities are facilitated by the Guild Liaison, who offers concierge-style service to members.

The Chancellor’s Court of Benefactors

Chancellor's Court of BenefactorsThe Chancellor may invite our most significant supporters to become members of the prestigious Court of Benefactors.

The Court meets twice a year, at special events in Oxford and in London and offers benefactors the chance to engage with the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and other senior leaders, within the collegiate University. These meetings also allow benefactors to meet other members of the Court and to gain a greater understanding of the life and work of the University and the colleges.

Watch our short film of the 2023 Autumn Meeting of the Chancellor's Court of Benefactors.

The Clarendon Arch

The Clarendon ArchFellows of the Chancellor’s Court of Benefactors may have their generosity honoured by having their name engraved in the Clarendon Arch, near the entrance of the historic Bodleian Library.

Names inscribed on the arch include some of our most prominent benefactors, including King Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth I and Sir Thomas Bodley. Benefactors added within the last generation include Dame Stephanie Shirley, Mr George Soros, HM Queen Elizabeth II and the Wolfson Foundation.

The Chancellor’s Court of Benefactors Fellowship

The Fellowship is awarded to honour those members of the Court who have given exceptional support to the University of Oxford. Members of this distinguished group are known as CCB Fellows.

The Sheldon Medal

Sheldon MedalThe highest honour the University can bestow is the Sheldon Medal, which is reserved for an individual benefactor who has made a strategic difference to the life of the University. The medal was first awarded in 2002 and is named after Gilbert Sheldon, one of Oxford’s early benefactors, who graduated in 1620.

Recipients of the Sheldon Medal since its inception include:

  • The late Lord Wolfson, FBA, Chairman of the Wolfson Foundation
  • Mr Wafic Rida Saïd
  • The late Dr James Martin
  • Sir Michael Moritz and Ms Harriet Heyman
  • The late Lord of Preston Candover and Lady Sainsbury of Preston Candover
  • Sir Leonard Blavatnik
  • Mrs Mica Ertegun
  • The Trustees of the Garfield Weston Foundation
  • Mr John McCall MacBain O.C.
  • Mr Simon Reuben and Mr David Reuben


We welcome the opportunity to meet with donors and to keep them up to date with news about the University. Oxford currently runs the following events for our donors:

The Boat Race

Sporting and cultural opportunities

We offer the opportunity to attend University sporting occasions, including the annual Oxford v Cambridge Boat Race. We also invite donors to arts events such as recitals and private viewings at the University museums.

Intellectual engagement

Major benefactors will receive invitations to events related to the projects to which they have contributed. These include special lectures and opening ceremonies along with opportunities to meet academics and students. In the year of their significant donation, major donors will be invited to join the University at its biggest celebration, Encaenia.

International events

Recognising that we have donors throughout the world, similar events are organised through our North American and Asia offices.