An announcement from Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt FRS, Principal of Jesus College
“I am delighted to announce that the College has signed a gift agreement for a £15 million donation. This generous gift comes from Hong Kong entrepreneur and philanthropist, Dr Henry Cheng, through his London-based property company, Knight Dragon, in support of the development of the Northgate House project.
This unprecedented gift originated from the initiative of our Classics Fellow Armand D’Angour. In May 2016 Professor D’Angour approached a personal friend in Hong Kong, Kevin Ching, Chief Executive of Sotheby’s Asia, with a request that he make introductions to potential donors on behalf of the College’s Development effort. Mr Ching immediately arranged several introductions, one of which was to Dr Cheng.
Northgate House currently houses a number of shops which face Cornmarket Street and back on to the Fellows’ garden. Our intended redevelopment of the site will maintain retail space while developing College facilities for teaching and research, student accommodation and public engagement at the rear of the building and on the upper floors, with a new entrance from Market and/or Cornmarket Street. The building will also house a ‘Digital Hub’ which will showcase the research of College members and provide space and facilities to support the College’s outreach and access work.
The project is being managed by a working group, led by the College’s Property Director, David Stevenson, reporting to me and overseen by the Governing Body. Sammy Lee and Richard Margree, Knight Dragon’s Vice Chairman and CEO, respectively, will support the College in connection with the Gift.
The opportunity to build an extension to the College’s historic site will enable a truly transformational expansion of the College. We are extremely grateful to Dr Cheng, and to Knight Dragon, for this lead gift which gives us the security and confidence to proceed. The development will be named after Dr Cheng’s father, Cheng Yu-tung, and the Digital Hub, within the building, will be named after Dr Cheng.
The continued development of Jesus College would not be possible without the commitment of our donors who give support at all levels. In light of this singular gift to the College, our fundraising efforts will continue apace, focusing on raising support for people – through bursaries, scholarships and Fellowships – as well complementing Dr Cheng’s gift for the development of the College’s infrastructure.