George Alfred Wills ( 1854 - 1928)

George Alfred Wills was a keen amateur historian who regretted his lack of a university education - this was the main reason why he associated himself, and his wealth, with the University in Bristol. He and his brother Harry contributed around 500,000 (R.P.I. say about 25,000,000 in 2004) towards the University's expansion programme in the early 1900's and in the 1920's he gave a lot more. He purchased land for the University's playing fields, he and his brothers endowed a number of chairs, he financed the Wills Hall - a hall of residence for male undergraduates (completed in 1929). Among his other gifts were: Bristol General Hospital 60,000, the purchase of Nightingale Valley for the enjoyment of his fellow citizens... and in 1920 he bought the Victoria Rooms and presented them to the University as a students club... with a further 20,000 (R.P.I. =500,000 in 2004) to help towards maintenance.

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