University announces new Chair of Believe campaign

Mr Leigh Clifford The University of Melbourne today announced that Mr Leigh Clifford AO is the new Chair of Believe – the Campaign for the University of Melbourne.

The current Chairman of Qantas Ltd, a former CEO of Rio Tinto and an Engineering alumnus of the University, Mr Clifford has served as Deputy Chair of the Campaign since 2013.

Mr Clifford and his family have also contributed to the University, including through the endowment of the Clifford Chair in Neural Engineering, a major research initiative focusing on the collaboration of medicine and engineering to investigate neurological disorders.

Vice-Principal (Advancement) Nick Blinco said Mr Clifford would take on the role of Chair at an important time in the University’s biggest ever philanthropic undertaking.

"Just under a year ago we announced a new, dual target for Believe – the Campaign for the University of Melbourne: to reach $1 billion and to engage 100,000 alumni as volunteers and donors to the University.

“They are ambitious targets, but what they truly represent is this University’s commitment to improve the life of future generations through ground-breaking research, scholarships and a well-rounded contribution to public life.

“Success can be measured by the lives we change and we are excited to have someone of the calibre of Mr Clifford leading this Campaign.”

Mr Clifford said he was excited to take on an expanded role in the Campaign. “Universities are absolutely deserving of philanthropic investment, given their mission to educate the future leaders of tomorrow. It has been an honour to be involved in the Campaign to this point – both as Deputy Chair and as a donor too – and I look forward to ensuring its continued success into 2017 and beyond.”

Mr Martyn Myer AO, whose generosity has contributed to the construction of the new Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, will continue as Deputy Chair. He will be joined by Ms Jane Hansen, whose 2016 gift is changing how the University teaches history to a new generation of students.

The current total of the Campaign stands at $628 million.