Methodist College Belfast receives £13.5 million legacy from former pupil Richard Henry (Prescott) Kerr

A former pupil at Methodist College in Belfast has left a legacy of £13.5 million in his will.

By Gemma Murray
Thursday, 20th May 2021, 8:54 am

News of the windfall has been revealed on the school’s Facebook page where they say: “Thank you Richard Henry (Prescott) Kerr!”

The post adds: “Methodist College is celebrating the largest single donation to the school in its 150 year history, after receiving a legacy of £13.5m from former pupil Richard Henry (Prescott) Kerr to support the life and work of the College.

“Prescott, as he was known to his friends and family, was the youngest of a farming family of five. He boarded at Methody in the 1940s and excelled academically as well as enjoying rowing in the College 8 and playing rugby.

Methodist College, Belfast

“After gaining a BSc in Agriculture from Queen’s University he went on to study at Cornell University in America.

“On his return to Northern Ireland he joined Cockburns of Banbridge, producing vitamin feeds for agricultural foods. His subsequent work in nutrition research with Viasfeeds of Canterbury, eventually led to him setting up his own business, Newtech, in 1985.

“A deeply caring individual he retired shortly afterwards to look after his beloved wife Bea.

“On January 24th 2019, he passed away peacefully, at Hynetown House, Dartmouth, England.

“Following discussion with representatives of the Prescott estate, and in keeping with his interests, the Governors of the College have agreed that a proportion of the funds will be used for the promotion of pupil mental health and well-being, improving the learning environment through contributions to capital development projects and enhancing the opportunities for pupils of modest means.

“The gift has been judiciously invested in an ethical fund ensuring that the benefits of the legacy will endure for generations to come.

“Throughout our history, Methody has benefitted from the generosity of past pupils who have made significant, philanthropic contributions to support the development of the school and enhance the opportunities of our pupils.

“We have also relied on your generosity, and the generosity of other parents, through your voluntary contributions, to preserve our curricular offer and to continue to provide enrichment opportunities for all pupils.

“This transformational gift will have a significant impact on the College community, allowing us to embark on development work the realisation of which would otherwise have been inconceivable.

“Current and future generations of pupils at Methodist College will benefit from this extraordinarily generous donation.

“School development is never ending, and the entire College community is profoundly grateful to Richard Henry (Prescott) Kerr.

“His beneficence will, in the words of the school song, let Methody flourish.”

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