Michael Moritz and Oxford
Philanthropists Sir Michael Moritz and his wife, the writer Harriet Heyman, gave Christ Church its largest ever donation (£25m) in 2008 and in 2012 they gave a £75m donation to the University of Oxford for the support of the University’s poorest students. It is hoped that a match-funding scheme will eventually increase the value of the £75m gift, the largest donation for Undergraduate support in European History, to £300m. Those undergraduates with parental incomes of less than £16,000 p.a. (approx. 1,000 students each year) will receive ‘Moritz-Heyman Scholarships’ ensuring reduced tuition fees, help with living expenses and automatic internships. They will be expected to give 25 hours of community volunteering or outreach work every year.
Michael Moritz’s father was a Jewish refugee. “He was plucked as a teenager from Nazi Germany.”, Moritz reportedly commented, “He was able to attend a very good school here in London entirely on a scholarship. He went on to study at Oxford and had a Ph.D. financed entirely from a scholarship.”
Moritz himself came from a Cardiff comprehensive school to study history at Christ Church and later joined Sequoia, a US venture capital company, invested in companies such as Google and YouTube and eventually became a billionaire.
Interviewed by the BBC on receiving his knighthood in the 2013 Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to philanthropy, Moritz commented, “The United Kingdom gave my parents and other family members a refuge from evil and without that I wouldn’t be here and none of this would have happened….I would not be here today were it not for the generosity of strangers,”
To read more about the Moritz-Heyman scholarships, see the Oxford University website at: http://www.ox.ac.uk/feesandfunding/ugcurrent/moritzheyman/