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Hansen Little Donation Makes University History


17 May 2018 at 5:07 pm
Wendy Williams
Husband and wife philanthropists Jane Hansen and Paul Little AO have donated $30 million to the University of Melbourne as part of a unique philanthropic model, which also marks the largest donation of its kind in the university's history.


Wendy Williams | 17 May 2018 at 5:07 pm


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Hansen Little Donation Makes University History
17 May 2018 at 5:07 pm

Husband and wife philanthropists Jane Hansen and Paul Little AO have donated $30 million to the University of Melbourne as part of a unique philanthropic model, which also marks the largest donation of its kind in the university’s history.

The funding, announced on Monday, will fund the construction of a student residence, “Little Hall”, that will in turn provide an income stream to fund scholarships for students for the next four decades.

Hansen, an ex-investment banker and the founding patron of the Hansen Scholarship Program, said the program would provide “unparalleled opportunities and support” for students whose personal circumstances may otherwise deny them the chance to study at the university.

“I firmly believe that an individual’s life trajectory should be guided by their determination to achieve their ambitions,” Hansen said.

“The Hansen Scholarship Program will significantly expand the horizons of its recipients – enabling and emboldening them to reframe their dreams and reimagine their futures.”

The program will commence in 2020 with an inaugural intake of 20 students, who will be known as Hansen Scholars and will receive free accommodation at Little Hall, assistance with general living expenses for the duration of their Bachelor’s degree, and development and career support throughout their time at university.

The scheme will be funded by the annual $2 million in student accommodation revenue the building generates.

The accommodation project itself will cost $100 million with Little Projects to provide project management services.

Rich-lister Little, the former Toll Holdings boss, said Little Hall would house 669 students, who would all benefit from an enrichment program to support them to both reach their academic potential and succeed in their post-university careers.

“Little Hall will be an exciting addition to Melbourne, a unique and outstanding architectural statement that establishes a new benchmark for student living in a distinctive academic and intellectually rich environment,” Little said.

“The aim of the enrichment program will be to make residency at Little Hall a fulfilling personal and academic experience so that students can explore all academic possibilities at the university while also establishing personal networks and undertaking extra-curricular activities.”

The latest donation adds to a $10 million donation made by the couple in 2015 to the same university to boost teaching standards for history studies.

Outgoing University of Melbourne vice-chancellor Professor Glyn Davis, said the latest gift from the Hansen Little Foundation was the largest in the university’s history for the benefit of students.

“We want the very best students to study at Melbourne, to stretch them academically and to help them make the most of their time on campus,” Davis said.

“A vibrant, distinctive, campus-based living community is essential as it extends the social and learning culture beyond the classroom. Little Hall is a wonderful opportunity to create an affordable housing option for University of Melbourne students in an academic and intellectually rich setting.

“We’re very excited about the Hansen Scholarship Program, which will nurture and significantly expand the horizons of talented students who may otherwise struggle to access a high-quality university education.”


Wendy Williams  |  Editor  |  @WendyAnWilliams

Wendy Williams is a journalist specialising in the not-for-profit sector and broader social economy. She has been the editor of Pro Bono News since 2018.

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