How gifts in Wills transform students' lives

Decie Denholm in Barr Smith Library

Decie Denholm

Alumna Mrs Decie Denholm (MA 1968), author and Senior Tutor in History at the University from 1970–1989, is fondly remembered by generations of former students for her commitment to teaching and for her quiet sense of fun. Decie and her husband, Lawrence, were also great music enthusiasts, and took immense pleasure in attending concerts at the Elder Conservatorium. 

With Lawrence’s passing, Decie decided to establish the LF & D Denholm Scholarship in his memory and in honour of the wonderful life they shared together.

It brought Decie great joy to see the impact of her philanthropy on students like Stephanie Thomson pictured below. So much so that Decie decided to leave a significant gift to the University in her Will. Her legacy gift is to support scholarships across history and music, in perpetuity.

Her gift also proposes to endow an Elder Music Residency Fund to bring world-class musicians, to teach our students. Decie’s Elder Music Residency Fund will be funding celebrated maestro Pinchas Zukerman’s visit to Adelaide next year, in partnership with Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.

Legacy gifts, like Decie’s, underpin the University’s financial sustainability, contribute to groundbreaking research and help prepare our students to become the leaders of tomorrow.

Stephanie Thomson

Stephanie Thomson

Stephanie's story

Thanks to the LF & D Denholm Scholarship, Stephanie was able to undertake research vital to her PhD thesis (women’s religious patronage in Reformation England), in the United Kingdom, and gain access to leading academics.

"The Denholm scholarship has been truly invaluable. Over the course of this trip, I carried out the bulk of the archival research needed for my thesis, visiting eleven libraries and archives across England.
I don’t think anything I can say would adequately express my gratitude, but thank you; your generosity has made an immense difference to my PhD experience, and I hope I can pay it forward someday." Stephanie Thomson, PhD – History candidate and LF & D Denholm Scholarship recipient.


For more information on creating a legacy and leaving a gift to the University in your Will, please contact our Planned Giving Officer on +61 8 8313 5800 or

Tagged in philanthrophy, impact of giving, scholarship, donor story, legacy giving