Hong Kong Philanthropist Dr Hon Dak Chung, has donated £5m to the University to help build a new Law School. The gift will provide a new home for Law students from 2022.
The gift was announced by Chair of Council, Rory Tapner, at a reception hosted by John Simon Bercow MP, Speaker and Parliamentary MP for Buckingham, on Tuesday 4 June.
The gift is part of the campaign for a Law School for the 21st Century and is one of the main pillars of the University’s ‘50 for 50’ campaign, aiming to raise £50m before the 50th anniversary of The University of Buckingham in May 2026. The donation also aims to build and strengthen the links between Britain and China.
The University’s Law School is one of the University’s founding schools, with graduates around the world including The Puisne Judges in Bermuda, Charles Etta Simmons (LLB 1983), Nicole Stoneham (LLB 1991) and Shade Subair Williams (LLB 1999) and Dafydd Enoch QC (LLB 1984) who has been part of the Queens Counsel since June 2015. Honorary Graduates include Sir Ivan Lawrence, Baroness Helena Kennedy and Sir Sydney Kentridge.
The two key funders for the building project are the Chung Hon Dak Foundation and the Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership who will be contributing £2m. The new building, on Tingewick Road in Buckingham, will host the ‘China Centre’ and the Schools of Law, AI and Computing.
The building will be named after the University’s Chancellor, Lady Keswick, as ‘The Tessa Keswick Building’.
The University is extremely grateful for this extraordinary gift from Dr Hon Dak Chung. While Dr Chung has donated to the University of Oxford, University of Nottingham, Beijing Normal University and Hong Kong University, this £5m gift is a landmark education gift for his foundation.
Dr Chung said: “I hope that this new law building provides a welcoming environment for all who come here to study, work and visit. I want it to give teachers and students the ability to continue with the closeness of teaching and learning that is key to the success of this magnificent school.
“I want more students to benefit from an Education at The University of Buckingham Law School, and for more parents to feel as grateful as I do to the University.”
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, Anthony Seldon, said: “We are so grateful for the friendship and support of people like Dr Chung and the BLEP that will enable the university to transform the environment.”
The Tessa Keswick Building will be the first in the UK for American Architect Brad Perkins.
Perkins has worked on major projects around the world, including the master plan for the American University of Beirut; the TKTS Booth in Times Square; the Manhattan campus of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; the comprehensive master plan for Hanoi, Vietnam; and master plans for town-scale projects in Ontario, Trinidad, Iran, Egypt, and Hanoi. Perkins Eastman is the largest architecture practice in the New York City area, with offices throughout the US and in China.
The Tessa Keswick Building is expected to cost £17m, with a further £10 million sought from Philanthropy. It is due to be completed in March 2021, and will be open to students from 2022.