As the School celebrates its Centenary this year, we have the opportunity to look both to the past and to our future; to reflect upon the extraordinary transformation that the School and indeed the wider Stowe estate has undergone, and to express our enduring gratitude to all those who helped to make it possible.
One of the many strengths of the modern-day Stowe is the very close partnership that exists between the Old Stoic Society and the School’s Development team. The latter seeks to raise the awareness and support so vitally needed to create the facilities and educational opportunities that will define Stowe for future generations. Many schools simply do not enjoy that relationship and bond and we count ourselves very fortunate.
Through the Campaign for Stowe, since its launch in 1998, we have benefitted from the extraordinary support and commitment of Old Stoics, Parents and other Friends of Stowe, at every conceivable level – and we are deeply appreciative of every single gift that we have received.
As anyone who has visited Stowe in recent years would testify, the School’s fabric has been transformed. Most recently with the inception of the Worsley Science Centre, the Roxburgh Theatre renovation, the new Music School, a new Sixth Form Centre and – soon to be constructed – a superb new Design Technology and Engineering Centre.
Work continues at pace, as you will read elsewhere in this edition, to complete the restoration of the Mansion with conservation teams currently working in the State Dining Room, with the aim of completing it by Speech Day this summer. This marks the end of a glorious £30 million restoration of Stowe House that will see, in the months to come, the final State Rooms returned to their 18th century splendour and the House saved for the nation.
Of particular and recent significance, our Change 100 bursary programme has been a considerable success and has raised the most money (nearly £18 million in donations and pledges
to date), in the fastest amount of time, from the greatest number of donors in the School’s history. As a result of everyone’s generosity, twenty children are benefitting from life-changing bursaries right now and we are thrilled to see their successes as they move through the School. We hope that by now you will have received our Annual Report which shares more details on Change 100 and the gratitude we have for all our donors and the wider Stowe community.
As we mark and celebrate the milestone of our Centenary, I dare to leave you with this question: if you might ever want to make a charitable donation to support Stowe and our endeavours to secure a prosperous future for the School, could there be a better and more appropriate time than now, in our Centenary year? As we hope our Annual Report makes clear, we cherish every pound that is given, whether to The Stowe School Foundation or The Stowe House Preservation Trust, and every donation really does serve to leave a wonderful and significant impact on Stowe. In just 100 years Stowe has grown to be a national institution of which we can all be immensely proud – with your help we can build on that success and ensure Stowe thrives well into its future.
On behalf of the Governors, the Head and all the current Stoics and Staff – thank you. Put simply, Stowe would not be the place that it is in 2023 were it not for you.
Colin Dudgeon, Development Director
The Change 100 Giving Day
Wednesday 28 – Thursday 29 June
This year we will host our first Change 100 Giving Day – a online fundraising campaign which will invite Old Stoics and Parents to support our Bursary Campaign. Taking a leaf out of the “crowd-funding” book that has enabled so many charitable causes to achieve success, our Giving Day will be an enthusiastic, energetic and engaging effort to promote the benefits of supporting our life-changing bursary programme. For Old Stoics, there will be a House leader board to bring back the gentle spirit of House competition. If you would like to support bursaries, Stowe’s future and your old House, please consider making a donation.