Denise Acford In Memory Access Scholarship

A project by: SOAS University of London

pledged of £36,000 target
Denise Acford In Memory Access Scholarship

Denise Acford, was the much-loved Programme Manager of the SOAS Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art. A highly valued member of the team, Denise played an instrumental role in the delivery of the programme and the development and running of the short specialist art courses. Her extraordinary determination and energy inspired those around her. Denise cared deeply about all the students, many of whom have written to us recounting stories of the support and guidance she provided.

Denise was unfailingly gracious, singularly focused, and exceptionally talented in her work. She carried out her duties with an effortless, unaffected charm, which was undiminished even in the late stages of her illness. Denise is sorely missed by many at SOAS, and in the wider community of the Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art.

In testament to her impact on so many lives, many have said they would like to mark this by making a donation in her name. Denise was passionate about fairness and access for all to the Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art, so we felt the most fitting tribute to Denise would be to establish the Denise Acford Access Scholarship. This will provide financial support for students who wish to study for a Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art, but who need additional funding to pursue this opportunity.

Part-scholarships are transformational for students, some testimonials of the transformation they enable are shared below for you to read first-hand the impact they have. This will be a new and dedicated scholarship. Our aim is to begin offering the Denise Acford Access Scholarship for students starting in Autumn 2021, all contributions towards this will go entirely to this fund and our vision is to offer this over a number of years.

Past Student Testimonial

Receiving the scholarship for the Post-graduate Diploma in Asian Art has been an incredible privilege and gave me the chance of pursuing a successful career. The knowledgeable specialists we met in class every day, the handling sessions, and the partnerships with the best museums and galleries of the world, make this course unique. 

I am truly grateful to those people, such as Denise, who have worked so hard to make the course more accessible. This scholarship is an important support that can make a real difference in somebody’s life and education and I am sincerely honoured I was selected for it. 

Chiara Spinelli

USA Tax Deductible Donations

To make a tax effective gift from the US please donate via our donate via our Chapel & York US Foundation pages and choose "Denise Acford Access Scholarship" from the campaign drop down box. 

Contact Details

If you would like to talk to us before making a donation please email Suzy Rushforth, SOAS Philanthropy Manager at