A woman who graduated from the University of Amsterdam has left €4 million in her will to fund research, the largest ever bequest of its kind by an individual.
Trudie Vervoort-Jaarsma left the money after she died in November at the age of 86. Her legacy will be invested in two funds to dispense bursaries for research trips, postgraduate study and other academic research.
One of the funds will be named after her daughter, Madeleine, who, like her mother, studied psychology in Amsterdam, but who died in 2010.
Geert ten Dam, chairman of the university’s board of governnors, said the money would enable hundreds of students to receive extra funding and give a boost to teaching and research at the university.
Vervoort-Jaarsma graduated in psychology in the 1960s. Her mother was Julia Adolfs, the first woman to practise law in the Dutch East Indies during the colonial era, whose three daughters all went to university.
The bursaries will be administered by the Stichting Amsterdamse Universiteitsfonds, which manages around 70 funds with a total value of nearly €17 million. Around one-third of the money invested in them comes from legacies.
‘We are incredibly happy and grateful,’ said Michaëla Ulrici, the organisation’s chair. ‘This money will enable us to realise some fantastic initiatives. In future far more students will be able to go abroad on a travel bursary to enrich their academic training.’