This marks the first important step towards the College’s aim of raising £3 million to endow three Tutorial Fellowships in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, to secure the teaching of these subjects at Mansfield and position itself as one of the leading colleges in these disciplines at the University of Oxford.

This generous gift from Guy and Julia Hands will endow the first Tutorial Fellowship post in one of the College’s PPE subjects in perpetuity, and is named in honour of Guy’s former tutor, Emeritus Fellow Professor Michael Freeden. Professor Freeden is an internationally-renowned politics academic, who was Mansfield’s first PPE fellow, and engaged in teaching and research at Mansfield College from 1978 until 2011.

Guy and Julia Hands said:

“We have worked with, and supported Mansfield for over twenty years and, in that time, so much has been achieved by the College of which we are hugely proud. This new fellowship will build on that work, ensuring that the teaching of PPE at Mansfield is world class and sought after by future students.

“Our congratulation both to Vanessa, for being the first to take up this important post, and to Michael himself, who thoroughly deserves to have this fellowship in his name.”

Michael Freeden said:

“It is tremendous news that Guy and Julia Hands have made such a magnificent gift to Mansfield in endowing this Fellowship. They have been benefactors of the College for many years and Mansfield is enormously privileged to have had their exemplary and wholehearted backing and encouragement.

“Such support from our alumni is absolutely crucial to the College’s flourishing. Guy was one of my first undergraduates and it has been a great pleasure to have remained in regular contact with him and Julia since. I am honoured and moved that the Tutorial Fellowship will bear my name, as being a member of the vibrant Mansfield community has been one of the most valuable experiences of my life.

“As Mansfield’s first Politics Fellow and Tutor, entrusted in 1978 with building up PPE during those more precarious times, I am delighted and thankful that the future of reading PPE for current and new generations of our talented students has been consolidated. It is a transformative milestone in the firming up and expansion of the resources that Mansfield puts at their disposal.”

The inaugural Michael Freeden Fellow will be Associate Professor Vanessa Berenguez-Rico who has been an economics tutor at Mansfield since 2014.  Reacting to the news of her appointment, Vanessa said:

“I am immensely honoured to be the very first Michael Freeden Tutorial Fellow at Mansfield. Michael is a highly distinguished scholar who has made numerous important contributions in the field of political theory.

“Generations of PPE students and tutors at Mansfield have benefited from his expertise, knowledge and kindness. I am thrilled to embrace the Michael Freeden Fellowship, which will enable us to continue Michael’s crucial impact on the PPE degree at Mansfield.”

Mansfield College’s Governing Body was delighted to receive this generous gift. Principal, Helen Mansfield, KC, said:

“It is wonderful to know that Michael Freeden is being honoured through the endowment of our first Tutorial Fellowship in PPE. Over a period of some 30 years, Michael was a driving force in establishing Mansfield’s PPE programme for the benefit of past and future students from a diverse range of backgrounds, and it is just a delight to us all that one of Michael’s former students has honoured his legacy in this way.

“I am deeply grateful to Guy and Julia Hands for their extremely generous donation. which has allowed us to reach the first important milestone towards the College’s aim of endowing three Tutorial Fellowships in PPE. This gift demonstrates what is possible, and how much it means to those who have taught at Mansfield to know that their contribution was valued and is returned; and how much it will mean to all those wonderful Mansfield students who will learn PPE here in future years.

“I hope this inspires Mansfield’s other PPE alumni to support us to raise the further £2m which will enable us to  achieve our aim of securing this important subject at Mansfield.”

Marking the occasion of the endowment of the Michael Freeden Tutorial Fellowship in PPE, Professor David Leopold, a current political theory tutor at Mansfield and former student of Michael Freeden’s has penned this tribute.