Bradfield Society & Development: A brief introduction

January 1, 2018

Director of the Bradfield Society and Development, Alastair MacEwen, is interviewed about the role of this office and how the Society helps to deliver the College’s mission to provide an ‘Education for Life’ as well as enabling connection with ‘Bradfield for Life’.

Let’s start with The Bradfield Society – what is it, who is it for?

The Bradfield Society’s raison d’être is community engagement – to bring together everyone who holds Bradfield dear, be they alumni, parents, former parents, former staff or friends of the College, for our mutual benefit. We have approximately 6,000 ‘active’ members – who receive regular communications. We are here to allow members to maintain and strengthen their ties with Bradfield, extending the bonds beyond someone’s direct connection with the College and aiming to maintain that connection for life.

What benefits do Bradfield Society members enjoy?

  • A varied year-round programme of events including speaker events, concerts, plays and reunions hosted at the College, as well as regional and international events.
  • A network. One of the great strengths of a school like Bradfield is the network of different people and the variety of roles they go onto during their careers. Members can share experiences and build connections that will endure.
  • A range of sporting clubs and societies to join, from Football to Sailing, from Golf to Netball and we are always keen to add new activities to the list, so, if you would like to set up a club do get in touch…
  • The Bradfieldian – a magazine for both the College and the Society, with three publications a year, filled with current news and feature articles on the panoply of pupil and OB experiences.
  • The Bradfield Society Online – The Bradfield Society engagement platform, which will allow members to have greater visibility of all the great things that the Bradfield Society has to offer.

Why stay in touch?

What you will find when you come back to Bradfield, particularly for those generations who may not have set foot in the College since they left, is that while much has changed, much remains the same. The school moves on; many remark that it has improved for the better however the core values stand, this remains the College you knew. Keeping in touch is so important and the Bradfield Society helps to maintain friendships that can very easily be lost in the modern world.

How do I become a member?

The answer is that you are already a member, the Society is for everyone and you automatically become a member when you join, leave or become connected to the College. There is no subscription fee.

So, tell me more about the ‘Education for Life’ link..

As a community we have a wealth of collective knowledge and there is the opportunity to share that knowledge for the benefit of current pupils and indeed members of the wider community by supporting the College’s careers or ‘Horizons’ programme, or the series for gifted and talented pupils, the ‘Minerva’ programme – invitations to which are often extended to members of the Bradfield Society.

Now, what is Development?

Development encompasses all the strands of activity to ensure the future success of the school. At Bradfield we focus on managing fundraising campaigns that align with the College’s vision, namely to ensure that Bradfield can continue to be a place that inspires young people to venture out and make a difference to their world.

Is Development something new to Bradfield?

In short, no. The College has been ‘doing Development’ since its inception, and in the original College statutes the Founder, Thomas Stevens, ensured that 1 in 10 of the pupils would be supported through their education by a levy on fees to the ‘Domus Fund’ .

Thereafter, various capital appeals were managed by the College Council, until fundraising was formalised with the creation of the Bradfield Foundation in 1990. It is the Foundation and the generosity of its benefactors that pushed through transformative projects such as the Sports Complex, Science Centre and restoration of the Greek Theatre and has helped to turn Bradfield into the school that we see today.

What is the current focus of Development?

We support the College’s vision through our two principle fundraising campaigns:

  • Bright Futures – The Bradfield Bursary Campaign, which aims to give young people an opportunity to gain an outstanding education irrespective of family means and background , and
  • The Campus Development Campaign, which aims to create a campus able to deliver an Education for Life now and be fit for purpose, maintaining pace with technology and best teaching practice in the future.

We have three Ways to Give to these campaigns and these are making a Single Gift, Regular Giving and Leave a Legacy.

Keen to be involved?

Whether you would like to come back just to visit the College, or to re-connect with old friends, or you would like to be more actively involved, in careers guidance or to learn about our bursary campaign, we would love to hear from you. Call us on 01189644840, or drop us an email on