Legacies - Make a Lasting Difference

Legacy bequests have always been a key part of the success of St Catharine’s. From the benefaction of Mary Ramsden in 1745 to that of Dr John Shakeshaft in 2016, the College’s academic and extra-curricular life continues to benefit profoundly from the generosity of our Members and friends after their deaths.

Bursaries, fellowships and building works have all been funded by legacies to St Catharine’s, and gifts of all sizes can help us continue to offer a first-class education to the most able students, regardless of their wealth or background.

By leaving a legacy to St Catharine’s, you could be having a transformational impact on the future prosperity of your College. Your gift will support the College and  may help protect it from the vagaries of future and as yet unknown challenges.

A gift to St Catharine’s in your Will is something that anybody can do, at any age. Making a Will, or amending your existing Will to include St Catharine’s, isn't complicated and typically costs around £200. Your solicitor can tell you how to go about it.

All gifts left to charity in a Will are exempt from tax. Not only could you make a lasting contribution to the future of the College and its students, but you may also reduce the tax burden levied on your estate. Since April 2012, if you leave 10% of your net estate to a charity like St Catharine’s College, your Inheritance Tax Rate drops from 40% to 36% on the residual balance of your estate.

Click the links below to:

The Woodlark Society

The Woodlark Society of St Catharine's was established in 1995 to recognise those who have made a legacy in favour of the College.

We recognise that your will arrangements are a personal matter and you may wish them to remain confidential. However, if you were to let us know if the College is included in your will, it would offer us an opportunity to thank you and invite you to join the Woodlark Society. 

Members of the Society are invited to a special luncheon in College at the end of Michaelmas Term, as well as to the College Garden Party which takes place in June.


There are many possible ways to leave a legacy to St Catharine’s, and there may be tax benefits on your remaining estate. We would always recommend you consult a qualified solicitor on the most recent Inheritance Tax law, and to ensure your will is valid.

US tax payers wishing to support St Catharine's through estate planning may do so via Cambridge in America.

Below is a suggested form of wording for a will or codicil:

“I GIVE to the MASTER AND FELLOWS OF ST CATHARINE'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE CB2 1RL the residue/a proportion of the residue of my estate / the sum of £[amount] free of tax for the general purposes of the College and I declare that the receipt of the Bursar or other authorised officer for the time being of the College shall be a good and sufficient discharge to my Executors.”

The College is a registered charity, number 1137463.

If you would prefer to direct your bequest to a specific purpose, please get in touch with the Alumni and Development Office to discuss the best way to do this.

Tell us about your legacy

If you have included St Catharine’s in your will, we would be very grateful if you could let us know by completing this form. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions about the best way to leave a gift to the College.