Front Quad of Lincoln College, the walls covered in bright green ivy


New scholarship at Lincoln: The Catharine French Graduate Scholarship

6 Apr 2021

Collage of four pictures of Catharine French: posing with a man and a woman in green Barclays t-shirts, speaking at a mic with the Barclays logo in the background, seated with a woman, and seated with a group of women in red t-shirts

Lincoln is pleased to announce plans for a new scholarship, honouring the memory of Catharine French (1966-2020).

Catharine died in May 2020 from cancer at the early age of 53. A graduate of Lincoln College, Oxford, she came up in 1985 to read History and Economics and was a leader in her year. After Oxford, Catharine joined the financial services industry and was a quiet trailblazer for the advancement of women in business, an advocate for financial inclusion and diversity, and a supporter of development in Africa.

During a 16-year career at Barclays Bank, Catharine was a mentor to many, especially young female entrants in the industry, and advocated true diversity across the financial services industry. As Chair of Banking on Change, Catharine helped bring financial services to 500,000 customers, mainly women, across seven African countries and found 25,000 micro-enterprises. She visited Africa regularly, both for business and pleasure. Africa, financial inclusion, and promoting diversity in leadership were three of Catharine’s passions.

In honour of her extraordinary work and tireless commitment to these causes, the Dodd/French family, supported by Barclays Bank, Lincoln College, and the Social Sciences Division at the University of Oxford, are establishing a scholarship in Catharine’s memory. The scholarship will be held at Lincoln and will support a graduate student from Africa, preferably female, to undertake a one-year MSc in Economics for Development at the Oxford Department of International Development or a Master’s degree in the Department of Economics. The scholarship is a unique opportunity to honour Catharine’s memory and vision by supporting the next generation of change-makers in Africa to come to study at Oxford.

The Dodd/French family, Barclays, and Lincoln alumni have already pledged almost £500,000 towards the scholarship. Coupled with almost £400,000 of match funding from the University of Oxford, we are looking to raise the outstanding £300,000 to establish this scholarship in perpetuity. We welcome new donations, of any size, to help us reach our goal.

The full case for support can be found here. For more information, please contact Susan Harrison in the Development Office.

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