The Trusts contribute to the foundation of the University of York.

In 1960 the Rowntree trusts jointly made a grant of £100,000 towards the foundation of the University of York. John Bowes Morrell, a director of Rowntree and Co, was instrumental in founding both the University of York and the Borthwick Institute for Archives.

Several other directors and trustees have over the years held positions of responsibility in the University, which has a building in Social Sciences named after Seebohm Rowntree.

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