GENEROUS: Bond University Vice Chancellor and president, Professor Tim Brailsford, Janet Price, Don Cutmore and Professor Helen O'Neill celebrate  Cora Cutmore's multi-million-dollar bequest.
GENEROUS: Bond University Vice Chancellor and president, Professor Tim Brailsford, Janet Price, Don Cutmore and Professor Helen O'Neill celebrate Cora Cutmore's multi-million-dollar bequest. Contributed

Former Warwick 'formidable woman' donates millions

BOND University has received its largest single private donation from a woman who grew up in the Rose City.

Cora Cutmore, who died on her 93rd birthday last year, was from a pioneering family in the region.

Sent to board at the Church of England Girls' School in Warwick, the strong-willed Ms Cutmore quickly decided it did not suit her and insisted on being transferred to Warwick State High School.

After completing her studies, she travelled on her own to Brisbane to become a nurse.

Her career was colourful and worldly, taking her to Melbourne, Hobart and rural communities in Queensland before she travelled to England, Europe, the United States and New Guinea.

Her niece, Janet Price, said Ms Cutmore knew she would not be married and needed to be independent.

She said her aunt wanted to do something worthwhile with her earnings.

"She saved everything, she bought shares, she knew every last share she owned,” Ms Price said.

"Her accountant said she was just amazing.

"She had all the tax worked out and shares being bought and sold.”

Nearing the end of her life, Ms Cutmore tasked Ms Price and her nephew Don Cutmore with choosing a charity for her fortune.

Seeing a man in a wheelchair stand up for the first time thanks to stem cell research ignited the idea, so Ms Price put Ms Cutmore on the phone to Bond University.

"Half an hour later I couldn't get the phone back off her, her eyes was shining and she said, 'This is it',” Ms Price said.

Mr Cutmore and Ms Price were sent to Bond to do due diligence and both were grilled upon their return.

But the decision was sealed when the pair discovered the research being done into macular degeneration, a condition both Ms Cutmore and her sister suffered.

Ms Price said she and Mr Cutmore were proud to help Ms Cutmore leave a legacy.

"We might not be the ones who make the final break- through but the research that we're now funding will go to other research centres and fund ideas,” she said.

"What Cora has done, she will ultimately leave the world a better place and definitely happier if people can keep their eyesight.”

The multi-million-dollar donation was already being put to use, with some money funding fellowships for phD students, and $400,000 spent on an imaging machine for stem cells.



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