July 26, 2023

Rector’s eNews – 26 July 2023

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There are few more powerful expressions of the health of a school than the desire of alumni to remain connected to their alma mater and to give back to it in meaningful ways.

The programme of mentorship by Old Boys of the current matric group was successfully launched at the end of last week. Each matriculant has been paired with a recent Old Boy who will be his guide through the next 12 months as he considers or reconsiders his options beyond school and takes his initial steps in the wider world.

Unquestionably, the majority of matriculants can call on their parents, other family members and family friends to assist and to guide them with difficult decisions, but this mentorship programme is specifically devised to have younger Old Boys engage with matric boys in the areas of interest of the boys so that they may be provided with the best possible advice and help which parents and others close to a family may not be able to offer with as much credibility: these could entail which of two specific courses to follow at a particular university and the benefits or otherwise of each. In order to achieve the maximum impact of a pairing, a lot of care has to go into the selection of each mentor for each matriculant and this is where our Old Boys’ Club, led by Sean Lumley as president and Richard Bates as vice-president, has done such remarkable work.

Mentors have been drawn from a pool of hundreds of young volunteer Old Boys and have been matched based on criteria ranging from professional ambition to geographical location.

Earlier in the year, the Old Boys’ Club introduced the next cohort of younger Old Boys to the concept and importance of mentorship and inducted them into OM+, the powerful online tool which connects Old Boys with each other and with the school no matter where they are in the world. In doing so, the Old Boys’ Club for Life mantra remains: “Ask for help, offer help, share knowledge, share memories and do good business” and, in doing so, the belief remains that the foundation of strong mentorship is pivotal in unlocking our global network of support.

As a school, we are most grateful to the huge number of Old Boys who have been enthusiastic about supporting our boys in this way. I do not know of another school anywhere in the world where this has been done with such precision and enthusiasm (with the possible exception of Eton) and, as I have said, it speaks volumes for the respect that these Old Boys have for their school.

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