Robert Gordon Statue

Alumni & Supporters

Our History of Support

Robert Gordon University owes its name, ethos, concept and estate to generous acts throughout its history.

RGU’s roots can be traced back through its history to generous acts which have transformed the institution into a university that is globally recognised for teaching, research and innovation.

History of RGU Philanthropy

18th century

Robert Gordon, a successful merchant and Burgess of the Guild of the City of Aberdeen, willed his entire estate to build a hospital that would educate scholars; a legacy that led to the foundation of Robert Gordon's College and Robert Gordon's Technical College.

19th century

A carpenter from the Shire, John Gray, successfully sought his fortune in Aberdeen. He became a Governor of Robert Gordon's College while his School of Art was being built. He left a considerable legacy to the school that still bears his name.

20th century

An Aberdeen School of Architecture graduate, Thomas Scott Sutherland, donated his house and estate to Robert Gordon's College. The Scott Sutherland School of Architecture opened in 1957.

21st century

The Wood Foundation, a world-renowned philanthropic charity set up by Sir Ian Wood and his immediate family, helped to propel RGU to the forefront of teaching innovation and excellence. The Foundation’s support of several million pounds over the years has funded numerous projects and initiatives, such as the creation of the Oil & Gas Institute in 2014.