In memory of University of Liverpool alumnus and supporter Dr Andrew Douglas: A legacy of philanthropy and transformative impact

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Wirral businessman Dr Andrew Douglas (BA Hons Economic History 1982, PhD Economic and Social History 1993, MPhil History 2000) was a passionate supporter of the University of Liverpool, where he earned three degrees.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tim Jones, led tributes to Andrew from the University: “I had the privilege of meeting Andrew when he visited the University last year, and we enjoyed reminiscing about student life in Liverpool in the 1980s. He was a true friend to the University for many years and we will miss his advice and his dedication.”

Andrew was the grandson of Joseph Douglas, who founded the Hoylake-based subscription magazine Candis. Continuing under Andrew’s leadership, the magazine’s readers have donated more than £56m to health causes across the UK since 1962, including Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, baby care charity Bliss, the Cancer and Polio Research Fund, and the British Heart Foundation.

In 1989-1992, Candis donated £2.2m to found the Cancer Tissue Bank Research Centre, which became the Liverpool University Biobank.

Dr Neil French, Head of Clinical Operations, said, “The transformative support of Andrew and Candis readers allowed the University to create what was, at the time, one of the largest cancer tissue bank resources in the UK. But the Candis funds have also allowed us to continue to invest in staff and equipment infrastructure so that the Liverpool University Biobank can provide cutting-edge services to our academic colleagues. We are very grateful for his key role in creating this long-lasting legacy for cancer and other researchers.”

Andrew attended school in Shropshire before studying at the University of Liverpool, where he formed lifelong connections with academic colleagues, and cemented a fascination with economics and history. Under Andrew’s leadership, in 2014 Newhall Publishing transformed from a magazine publisher to a content and marketing agency, before he transferred control to an employee ownership trust in 2022.

Through his giving, Andrew founded prizes at Liverpool for outstanding students in History and the Management School, and donated to support the continued work of the Centre for Port and Maritime History, where his late friend and mentor Professor Peter Davies had been a significant contributor. Professor Mark Towsey, Head of the Department of History, said: “Andrew’s support for students in the Department of History made a real difference, and I know from our meetings how passionate and interested he was in our activities.”

Mark Horne, Head of Philanthropy, said, “Andrew was always one of the first of our alumni we went to when we needed an honest opinion about a new initiative at Liverpool. He was endlessly inquisitive and our meetings were always a delight, with conversation covering everything from university life and the city, to politics and the arts.”

Our thoughts are with Andrew’s family and friends at this sad time.