A local Whitchurch lady has been awarded an MBE. Muriel Hirst is well-known for supporting a number of activities.
She receives her award for services to Reading University. However local vicar Kelvin Inglis who let the website know of the award said:

“More generally, Mrs Hirst, a faithful member of the church, has supported a number of local voluntary and charitable concerns over the years and has done much to enhance our town.”

Kelvin provided the following from the University:

Muriel Hirst receives an MBE for services to the University of Reading. Mrs Hirst has been associated with the University of Reading for more than 40 years, firstly as an administrative member of staff and then as wife of the late Wallace Hirst, a Professor in Engineering. On his retirement, they initiated an annual scholarship enabling students from the developing world to study for a Master’s degree in either agriculture & development or in renewable energy. She has developed this programme since his death in 1997 and in 2010 endowed the fund permanently to ensure a full scholarship and stipend will be available to future generations.

Over the last 15 years, the University has educated Hirst Scholars from The Gambia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, South Sudan, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Many have taken senior roles in their countries, including at ministries of agriculture and national agricultural research institutes; as directors of solar energy companies; and in higher education. Others have worked with the UN and the World Bank on projects advancing progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.

Muriel Hirst said:

“I have been associated with the University of Reading for more than 40 years, and have supported an MSc student from the developing world every year since 1995 through the Wallace and Muriel Hirst Fund. I am absolutely thrilled to be recognised with an Honour in the Queen’s Birthday List, and when receiving it will be thinking of my late husband, Professor Wallace Hirst, each of the Hirst Scholars, and all my friends at Reading over the years.”

The town website team joins others in Whitchurch in congratulating Muriel in being honoured with this award.

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