Changes to RREF Trustees

A decade of leadership, support and involvement comes to an end.

Following more than 10 years of involvement, this Summer Stephen Musgrave and Charles Graham stepped down from RREF's Board of Trustees. During their tenure they not only saw RREF emerge from the vision of the original group of founders, but they have been witness to the impact of RREF's work on the students, the School and the industry.

We asked them what this time has meant to them, why they got involved at the start and, perhaps more importantly, why they have stayed so committed. Here is what they had to say.

Stephen Musgrave

''12 years ago when about 12 of us got together in a restaurant in Stephen_MusgraveLondon there was no alumni group that brought together the past and present graduates of the Reading University Real Estate BSc course. There was certainly no charity to cater for the needs of the graduates and to support the faculty in remaining the best real estate centre of learning in the world. RREF was born and I have been thrilled to play a small part in it becoming the largest single alumni group in the UK.

RREF has evolved from its early days into a highly professional, efficient and successful organisation. I am immensely proud that every graduate from the BSc and MSc, all 350 of them, have a mentor and if just half of them feel they too want to give something back the future is safe and in younger hands than mine! A database with over 9000 alumni and growing every year is a very powerful tool. Pathways to Property is an outstanding recent initiative which has taken RREF into a new and exciting place.

After 12 years I leave RREF in robust health and in the hands of people who I know will take it to new heights. I will continue to lend my support in whatever way I am asked to.''

Stephen Musgrave graduated from Reading in 1976, he is a RREF Pioneer and was instrumental in setting up the Gerald D. Hines Fellowship. Stephen is a RREF mentor and has been part of the scheme since it began in 2009.

Charles Graham

"I never was the most committed undergraduate and I certainly did notCharles Graham think at the time that I had maximised my potential during my three years at Reading. However, the strength of the curriculum and the level of teaching were very strong. What I learned doing the Estate Management course was very helpful as my career developed in North America. So, when a few of us met socially and put our heads together to see whether we could create a vehicle to promote excellence in real estate and planning at Reading, this seemed like an interesting way of giving back in return for the investment made in us by the real estate department some 25 years ago. Besides, we all knew each other more or less‎ and it was a fun project to initiate!

We have throughout the period since RREF's founding been very fortunate to have found very strong executive and administrative support, particularly from Nicole Gillham, which has made the difference. Of course, the tipping point for the charity was when we discussed the need for the Founders to put up real money in support of the foundation, we all did and I think it made a real difference.

The second vital ingredient has been the close working relationship we enjoyed and continue to enjoy with the University. We were keen to keep our initiative independent but we felt we needed broad support in order to succeed. Much credit must go to all concerned for cultivating this healthy and productive cooperation.

There comes a time when the initial energy dissipates because of other demands on time. It is, however, gratifying to watch the depth of support and talent available to the Foundation‎.

After eleven years the focus is clear, the aims even more relevant. It is time to allow others to take a turn at the helm while the Founding Partners continue to provide help and support in a lower profile role.

It will be interesting to watch the evolution of the existing initiatives and, hopefully, the development of a meaningful endowment for the longer term. I wish all involved much success. I have been proud to have been a small contributor to its growth"

Charles Graham graduated from Reading in 1978, he has been chair of the RREF Alumni Board, a donor for more than 10 years and has helped to secure a number of corporate sponsorships.

RREF and the University would like to extend its gratitude to Stephen and Charles for their continued support over the years.

We are also delighted to announce that we have appointed two new trustees to join the board:

David Atkins, Chief Executive of Hammerson plc, and Stafford Lancaster, Investment Director at Delancey.

David is a RREF Pioneer and has spoken at various RREF events; Hammerson is a Corporate Patron and supporter of the Pathways to Property initiative.

Stafford is the Vice-Chair of the RREF Development Committee, a Pioneer donor and mentor to a current Real Estate student.

 

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