Aberystwyth alumnus says 'thank you' with £506,000 scholarship gift

Peter Hancock

Peter Hancock

15 October 2015

In gratitude for the scholarship he was awarded 50 years ago which led to a successful academic and business career, Aberystwyth University alumnus Peter Hancock and his partner and fellow alumna Pat Pollard (née Trevitt)   have endowed their alma mater with £506,000 to create a major new scholarship fund.

The Peter Hancock Need & Merit Scholarship Fund will be launched in November 2015 to award scholarships for 'deserving, meritorious, in-need Year 2 Honours students or equivalent in any discipline and of any nationality and who show potential to benefit society through the successful completion of their Honours Degrees or equivalent.'

Comments Peter Hancock, who currently lives in New Zealand: "The key element in making this gift is to give something back to student life and the university that over 50 years ago gave me so much academically, socially and in developing my leadership and business skills.  At the same time, I hope it will make a difference through providing scholarships for in-need, promising students to enable them to commence rewarding careers that contribute to society and so, in turn, help others."

Added Aberystwyth University's Vice Chancellor, April McMahon: "Philanthropic support for scholarships is hugely important and the impact of Mr Hancock’s generosity will be felt across the University for many years to come.  He believes strongly that the professionally and financially rewarding career he has enjoyed as an engineering and exploration geologist was enabled by a scholarship provided through the University, without which he would not have been able to complete an honours degree – hence the focus of the Fund on supporting second year students to successfully complete their degrees.  This gift fits perfectly with the University’s priorities of student success, excellence, and working to support and retain students from many different backgrounds."

Comments Louise Jagger: "We are deeply grateful to Peter and Pat for their generous support of our students through this permanent endowment, believed to be one of the largest single donations this university has ever received from a living donor. We are also very grateful for their commitment to take an active role in the selection and ongoing support of students who benefit from a scholarship through mentoring and advice. Aberystwyth University has a long history of working in partnership with alumni to support its students and to advance the ambitions of the University, and I know that Peter and Pat will inspire many of our 60,000 community of alumni around the world with their philanthropy and active support."

Peter Hancock
Peter Hancock graduated from Aberystwyth in Geology in 1962 and commenced his career mapping the geology of Central Australia.  His  career in government, industry and consultancy as an engineering and exploration geologist in Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada included discovering new mineral resources and investigating or overseeing  major gas pipeline, hydro-electric and irrigation projects, effluent disposal works, land stability and due diligence reporting on mineral resources. In New Zealand he has represented a range of clients before judicial tribunals and the court of arbitration. He has been a teacher, lecturer, researcher and author on the perceptions and realities of resource development, leading to a later career as a facilitator in conflict resolution on resource development, environmental, and Aboriginal racial and disadvantage issues.

He has held lecturing positions at the University of South Australia and University of Waikato and was a Visiting Fellow at the ANU for 19 years providing lecture courses and multi-disciplinary research assignments and was Founding Director of the ANU Centre for Dialogue.

As a Fellow and Chartered Professional of the AusIMM -The Minerals Institute, he serves on its Compliance Committee dealing with claims of breaches of the Institute's Code of Ethics. He has enjoyed business interests and practical experience in consultancy management, dairy, deer and sheep farming and property management. He feels that his most rewarding experience has been building inter-racial and inter-tribal harmony through constructive dialogue, which has  helped to reduce violence and improve quality of life for Aboriginal people.