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York wins Times Higher Education award for Development and Alumni Relations

Posted on 19 June 2015

The University of York has won an award for best Development and Alumni Relations team at the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards (THELMAs) 2015.

Comedian Jack Whitehall, Mary Haworth, Director of Development and Alumni Relations at the University of York, and Susie Hills, Managing Director of Graham Pelton (sponsors of the award category)

Awarded for York’s ‘Yu Initiative’, the THELMAs recognise outstanding leadership and management in the UK’s higher education institutions.

The ‘Yu Initiative’ offers students funding, learning and mentoring opportunities through engaging with the alumni community. Aspects include YuStart, which has enabled more than 50 student projects through crowdfunding, and YuCall, bringing together 95 students in a telephone fundraising team to give grants of more than £200,000 to 90 clubs and societies, while also providing bursaries to students.

YuCycle, the annual charity ride raising money for bursaries and sports scholarships, and YuVolunteer, a scheme calling on alumni and friends to speak or help with mentoring and student career planning, is also part of the Yu Initiative.

Mary Haworth, Director of Development and Alumni Relations at the University of York, said: “I'm thrilled that the talents and hard work of the DARO team have been recognised in this way. We are also incredibly grateful for the collaborative approach taken by our colleagues, in particular YUSU and Careers, and their willingness to help make this initiative work.”

The THELMA judging panel said: “York has succeeded in developing a range of programmes that help students build skills for the workforce, while simultaneously developing an engaged and active alumni population.”

Now in its seventh year, the THELMAs took place at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, hosted by actor and comedian Jack Whitehall.

Winners were chosen by a panel of judges including Alison Johns, Chief Executive of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, David McBeth, Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange Services at the University of Strathclyde, and Maja Maricevic, Head of Higher Education at the British Library.

Further information:

  • For more information about the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards, visit

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