Brandon Smith


The Most Valuable Item in the World

Dear Magdalen alumni,

My time at Oxford has been incredible. I’ve met many great people, worked on many challenging projects, been part of many wonderful societies and had so many unique experiences. On top of this, I’ve had the most demanding challenge of my life, a physics course at Oxford! There is something common to all these great things: time. If Oxford’s taught me anything it’s that time is the most valuable item in the world.

During this final year of Oxford my financial position deteriorated a lot, just as my course became more demanding and the job I used to have dried up. My family were unable to support me financially (my mother, who is originally from Brazil, spent most of her career as a nurse in the NHS). I needed money and the only way I could get it was by sacrificing my most valuable item: time. This gave me a good deal of grief and anxiety until I heard about the Student Support Fund: a source of financial support provided entirely by the philanthropy of Magdalen alumni.

The process was straightforward and to my delight I found my batells completely covered as well as extra cash needed to see me through the rest of the term. I was overjoyed and my family were so happy for me.

That money didn’t come out of thin air, it came from you. I want to tell you how incredibly grateful I am to you. If it weren’t for you I would have had to quickly find a holiday job to work, probably on minimum wage. The amount of support I received from the Student Support Fund equates to about 750 hours of my life. You have given me that time back. That’s 750 hours of focus and unforgettable life experiences.

So, thank you so much for giving me the most valuable item in the world: time. I’ll make it count and live every second of it.


Brandon Smith