5:02 PM GMT 17/05/2013
On October 10, 2012, Ertegun House opened its doors in St Giles in the heart of Oxford. A four-storey building dedicated to the pursuit of higher education and research, it bears the family name of the man who founded of Atlantic Records and in whose honour Led Zeppelin reformed in 2007.
Indeed, the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert headlined by Zeppelin was intended to benefit The Mica And Ahmet Ertegun Graduate Scholarship Programme. Overseen by Mica Ertegun, Ahmet's widow, the programme made a donation of £26 million to Oxford University, one of the largest contributions in the institution's 900-year history.
"It's a real achievement and I'm glad that we were part of it," says Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones who was involved with the unveiling of the Ertegun Scholarship Programme in February of this year.
"It's not just a music scholarship, it covers all the Liberal Arts. It's an amazing thing in this day and age because there's no bottom line, or a what-do-we-get-out-of-this kind of thing. It's not in any way a commercial decision. It's a purely philanthropic decision and it's in perpetuity."
The aim of the programme is to fund the passage of an initial 16 students through Oxford. This is expected to rise to 35 students in subsequent years, all of whom will benefit from the facilities of Ertegun House.
"It's particularly good that [the programme] is aimed at supporting the Liberal Arts because in this day and age there's a view that suggests "OK, you've done the basket weaving but you really need to do engineering or something commercial or useful", and that's misguided," observes Jones. "I think that the Liberal Arts are absolutely essential for life and yet they're the first things to get cut these days. "Cut the Arts Council budget! They're only skivvers anyway!" That's wrong. I think the scholarships are extraordinarily generous thing to do and it's great that we were involved."
For more information on the Ertegun Scholarships, head over here.
Posted by Ross_Bennett at 10:06 AM GMT 02/11/2012