When STIAS director Prof Hendrik Geyer received a late afternoon telephone call on 16 May from Genève he was rather unprepared for the good news that Mr Mark McMullen, Executive Director of Stonehage (Geneva) SA, was about to announce: “The Trellis Charitable Trust, administered by the Stonehage Group, is pleased to announce a donation to STIAS in the amount of R2 000 000. The Trustees are honoured to support such an initiative, and especially to promote innovation on the African continent.” Receiving such a call out of the blue would certainly make any director’s day!
The Trellis Charitable Trust has strong Southern African links, especially around education and conservation where they have funded many initiatives over time, and this vote of confidence in the STIAS research programme comes at a very opportune moment as STIAS is increasing its local funding base.
This donation follows an earlier R2 000 000 donation to STIAS by the Trellis Charitable Trust in 2010; at the time it played a crucial role, helping STIAS to establish and expand its research programme while its funding was still delicately balanced.
Commented Prof Geyer: “The Trellis Charitable Trust grant is a significant one, not only in real monetary terms, but also in terms of its symbolic value which shows that the quality of the STIAS programme is resonating more and more with local funders of innovation and excellence who recognise the value of a research programme with a long term view.”