Lucy celebrates its Benefactors and Legators
The College celebrated the impact of philanthropy and the generosity of its supporters at an inaugural virtual gathering
Through her family's trust, the Fairway Trust, Lady Grantchester had been a benefactor to the College from the late 1970s
Lady Grantchester was an extraordinarily successful woman in many aspects of her life but she always found time to provide generous financial support for a number of charitable organisations during her lifetime. Lucy Cavendish is extremely grateful to now receive a legacy gift as a final donation in her memory.
Lady Grantchester treasured her association with Lucy Cavendish, being particularly drawn to the support the College provides for students from all walks of life and all backgrounds. She believed that education was the key to helping young people improve their life prospects and her association with the College was one, very important, way that she could help this happen.
Professor Dame Madeleine Atkins, President, Lucy Cavendish College said: “Lady Grantchester was an extremely loyal friend to the College but as well as being a generous benefactor, she also contributed to college life in many other ways. Her recognition of the importance of education, particularly for those from non-traditional backgrounds, aligned perfectly with our mission to serve the underserved. I hope that as we move into the next chapter at Lucy Cavendish, she would have continued to be proud. It will be a pleasure to direct her final donation to an area of college life which will ensure it has the most Impact.”
Betty, Lady Grantchester (1925 – 2019)Lady Granchester
Through her family's trust, the Fairway Trust (now defunct), Lady Grantchester had been a benefactor to the College from the late 1970s and established Fairways Trust Studentships for students from the Liverpool area in the 1980s. She was made an Honorary Fellow of the College in 1984.
She was the eldest daughter of Sir John Moores who developed the Littlewoods empire based in Liverpool. As a young child she developed TB and was sent away to a boarding school in Kent at the age of five, on doctor's orders. She continued her education at Cheltenham Ladies College and went on to read History and Law at Newnham College, Cambridge. It was in Cambridge that she met her husband, Kenneth Suenson-Taylor and they married in 1947. He became the 2nd Baron of Grantchester in 1976 on the death of his father, and he died in 1995.
In 1971 she was invited to join the board of Littlewoods, which, by now, had become the largest privately owned company in the UK, encompassing retail stores, mail order, and football pools. She became Director of the Littlewoods Organisation in 1977 and held that position for 20 years. She was credited with turning round the firm’s finances during the 1980s and early 1990s. She was also closely involved in Everton Football Club, which her father had bought in the 1960s. Recognising that the family no longer had the appetite to invest and run the club, she engineered a majority sale in 1994 whilst retaining an interest in its ongoing affairs.
Besides being an excellent business-woman she was also a practising Christian and a philanthropist supporting many charities, especially women's education through Newnham College and Lucy Cavendish College. She also supported a wide range of charities in the Liverpool area including youth and sports clubs, the Mersey Forest, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool University, and the Welsh National Opera. She was the driving force behind the revival of John Moores Painting Prize, cementing its position as the premier two dimensional art prize in the UK, and, with the help of Shanghai University, established the John Moores Painting Prize China.
In 2015 she received an Honorary Fellowship from Liverpool John Moores University for her outstanding contribution to the arts, business and the community.