Lumen - The University of Adelaide Magazine The University of Adelaide Australia
Lumen Spring 2017 Issue
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Age no barrier in university bequest

Jay Reid

Jay Reid
Today’s bequestors come from all walks of life, each with their own unique story and reasons for making a bequest.

One thing bequestors all have in common is the desire to make a difference beyond their lifetime.
Jay Reid is unusual because at the age of 30 he is the University’s youngest known bequestor – a decision motivated by his wife’s diagnosis and battle with cancer a few years ago.

“It was at the University of Adelaide that I made lifelong friends, started my career in the public service and met my wife,” says Jay. “When I thought about the kind of legacy I would want to leave if something ever happened to me, I felt I owed something to the University.”

Growing up, Jay spent a lot of time visiting Adelaide and always loved the city’s atmosphere. When it came time to apply to universities, he knew that Adelaide was where he wanted to study.

Initially enrolling in a mechanical engineering and science double degree, once he was on campus and immersed in campus life, Jay quickly found his passions lay elsewhere and switched to a Bachelor of Media (Hons).

It was an important lesson and Jay’s advice to other students is to never feel locked into a degree.

“Don’t feel like your degree defines you,” he says, adding that it is the research, questioning and critical thinking skills he developed through his study that have been his biggest asset in building a career.

After completing his undergraduate qualification, Jay went on to complete a Masters of Philosophy in 2014. He was in the final stages of his thesis when he was accepted into the graduate program at the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO).

Since then he has gone on to enjoy various roles across Commonwealth agencies.

Reflecting on his time at University, Jay says: “I was fortunate in that my family could support me through my studies, but not everyone has that opportunity. By giving back I hope to help others have the same great university experience I had.”

As a result of his bequest, Jay has now joined the Hughes Bequest Society which allows him to maintain a close connection with the University, while having his generosity acknowledged during his lifetime.

Story by Caitlin Reader
Photo by Hilary Cam


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