The contribution made by long-time supporters and friends of the University, Brian and Margaret Roper, was set in stone - quite literally - when we named the Roper Student Services Centre.
It marked the first time that a part of the University had been named after individual donors, and reflected the lasting impact of the Roper family's gifts.
Brian and Margaret’s philanthropy is truly exceptional, with wide-ranging gifts of well over half a million pounds.
Rebecca Whysall, a former Roper Scholar, said:
“I remember asking Brian why he strove to help others and his answer was simply, ‘Why not?’ Meeting the Ropers and seeing how modest they are has taught me to fully appreciate all the opportunities I receive.”
Brian set up his company, Roper Rhodes Ltd, in Bath in 1979. The company became the UK’s leading independent supplier of bathroom furniture and Brian became well known locally as one of Bath’s major employers. He received an MBE in 2008 for the support he gave to a wide variety of local charities, and in 2009 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration by the University.
Sadly, Brian passed away in May 2014 and Margaret in July 2017. They were an exceptional couple, and are greatly missed by everyone who knew them.
Their sons, Mark and Paul, now continue the legacy by providing several Roper scholarships each year. As a family, the Ropers have supported 191 scholarships to date, enabling students who would have struggled to finance their studies to focus on making the most of a Bath education.
The Roper Student Services Centre continues to care for students by offering wellbeing services, counselling and mental health advice, the Disability Service and student money advice. This ensures Brian and Margaret’s legacy lives on at the University.