Leading University supporter Marjorie Ziff dies


It is with great sadness that the University has learned of the death of Marjorie Ziff.

Marjorie was a lifelong supporter of the University, and with her late husband Arnold, was the driving force behind many ground-breaking projects that helped transform the city of Leeds.

Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Simone Buitendijk, said: “Universities are communities that strive through collaboration to make the world a better place for all.

“No-one embodied this aim more than Marjorie, whose enduring support of the University and indeed the whole city, leaves a profound and permanent legacy.

“Our thoughts are with Marjorie’s family at this sad time, but we also celebrate her dedication, spirit and generosity that impacted so many lives so positively.”

Acts of philanthropy

Among their many acts of philanthropy, the Ziff family’s support for the University ranges from the establishment of the Leeds University Business School to helping finance the eye-catching Marjorie and Arnold Ziff Building, opened near the entrance to the University campus in 2008.

The contributions which Marjorie and Arnold made to the city are immense. As part of their generosity, they funded the restoration of part of Leeds City Art Gallery, supported the Leeds International Piano Competition, helped found Tropical World in Roundhay Park and provided a thriving community centre in North Leeds.

As a result of her long-standing support within the community of Leeds, which included being a patron of the Leeds Jewish Welfare Board, Marjorie received an MBE in the 2011 New Year Honours.

In July 2005, Marjorie was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws at Leeds, 12 years after her husband Arnold had also been awarded an honorary doctorate.

During Marjorie’s presentation address, then Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Arthur, said: “So far as I can ascertain, this is only the second time in the University's history that we have awarded honorary degrees to a couple.

“The identity of the others who share this distinction - the Duke and Duchess of Kent - tells us something about the honour and affection in which the City and the University of Leeds hold Marjorie, as they did Arnold.”

Further information

Main image: Marjorie was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws at Leeds in 2005. Copyright: University of Leeds.

For media enquiries, please contact Ian Rosser on i.rosser@leeds.ac.uk.