A lasting gift of friendship

29 Mar 2021

To give without seeing impact within your lifetime is a truly thoughtful and selfless act. It is what makes Springbank Circle members such a special group within the ANU community. For John McNaught BEc ('72), BA ('69), being part of the Springbank Circle was a life-changing experience.

After a 20-year battle with cancer, John McNaught passed away in September 2020. A student and then a staff member for 11 years, John had a long history with ANU, full of happy memories. Becoming a Springbank Circle member gave him an opportunity to reconnect with ANU, a place for which he held great fondness.
John joined the Springbank Circle in July 2019, wanting to leave a legacy that would support cancer research. The cancer treatment John had undergone disfigured his face, which caused him to feel self-conscious in public. Upon joining the Springbank Circle, John rediscovered life at ANU.
His love for classical music brought him along to the Whitworth Roach Competition, which he thoroughly enjoyed. He also attended events such as the 2019 Springbank Circle lunch and a student residence reunion. John commented on a number of occasions how much he enjoyed the opportunities provided to him by ANU.
Along with a new social calendar, John gained a new friendship with Rachel Hunter from ANU Advancement. In an email to Rachel in 2019, John expressed the happiness being connected to ANU gave him.

It has been a great joy for me, through you, to reconnect with ANU. I have always been grateful for the gifts ANU has given me, both as a former student and employee, and now in my retirement. 

Like many donors, John's legacy came from a personal experience. Through telling his story, John not only formed a friendship with Rachel, but also inspired her to become a donor. Rachel now gives to cancer research, having lost her sister to cancer. Rachel had the opportunity to share this with John, and he was incredibly happy and thankful. While he will not know the impact of his financial donation, he did know the profound and lasting impact of his friendship.

This impact story is a feature in the 2020 Report to Donors

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