Chairman's Report 2017
6 December 2017
The wealth of Old Stoic activity over the last twelve months has delivered good results in a number of areas. This success has strengthened our bonds and engagement with our Members. As ever, the OS Committee continues to be healthy breeding ground for new and exciting ideas to deliver to our community. Once again, we have worked hard to deliver the objectives and targets summarised in our 5-year strategic plan. This report touches on some of the principal successes over the last year.
As ever, progress with our objectives would be impossible without the continued support of the Old Stoic Committee, to whom I give my thanks for their hard work throughout the year. Sir Richard Branson (Cobham/Lyttelton 68) will stand down as OSS President at the 2017 AGM, following 4 years of service. We are very grateful for the gravitas, commitment and support he has offered over the term of his presidency and would like to thank him for his continued dedication to Stowe and the Old Stoic Society.
Over the course of the year, 1,429 Old Stoics and guests attended a diverse programme of OS activities, reflecting a 36% increase in participation. Seventeen events were held, including regional events in Cambridge, Kirtlington and Petersfield; a highly successful Reunion Day at Stowe seeing our largest numbers to date; the first 10th Anniversary Reunion at Stowe; an OS Dinner at the Hippodrome; a Senior Old Stoic Lunch in Mayfair; Old Stoic Sports Day at Stowe; a highly successful Careers Fair at Stowe; a record breaking number at the Classic Car Display at Speech Day; sell out Property Networking Lunch, OS Corkscrew Champagne Dinner and Chablis Tasting; our second Careers Networking Drinks for recent leavers; the inaugural OS Polo Match; Drinks Receptions in Dubai, Singapore and New York.
Increasing participation in OS Sports remains a key project area for the OS Committee. Since 2014/15 participation has increased by 45% due to higher membership levels in in golf, cricket and football, as well as the formulation of the OS7s rugby team, squash and fly fishing clubs. As ever, women’s participation remains low and will be targeted next year.
Once again, the OS Committee worked hard to improve our careers support network this year. The 4th Old Stoic Careers Fair took place in November 2016, with 38 Old Stoics from a wide selection of industries invited to Stowe to speak to Stoics about their Careers. The event was a huge success and feedback from Stoics was very popular. In addition, a Careers’ Networking evening was held in June 2017 for recent leavers, encouraging them to make contact with Old Stoics working in disciplines that interest them. This was our second Networking Drinks and will be repeated annually. The number of mentor requests continues to rise, with the number of OS Mentors willing to give their help and expertise now at 191.
The Corinthian was redesigned and launched along side a brand new online magazine, Corinthian.online. This proved extremely popular and resulted in 9,202 page views over the course of year, amounting to 2,020 unique users. The print magazine contained augmented reality and focused on the theme of OS Explorers.
Great progress has been made with our commercial projects, including the launch of our Members Benefits programme, offering discounts for Old Stoics at a host of luxury brands. 18 Luxury & Old Stoic brands signed up including discounts at Cad and the Dandy, Nigel Milne, AdLabs Global, William Powell, S H Jones, Quintessentially Lifestyle, Petit Bateau, Bicester Village, Fairfax & Favour, Amazing Venues AGA Cookware, Christys’, Banvard & James and with affiliates of Aston Martin and Purdey.
Old Stoics were recruited to join the Centenary Sub Committee over the course of the year. More volunteers are needed and the group will meet regularly from 2017 onwards to plan the activity for 2023. If you would like to join this Sub Committee or help with any other project areas please do contact the OS Office.
Planned developments for the next 12 months includes; increasing commercial income for The Corinthian; working to find commercial sponsors to support London events; increasing the number of brands for Members’ Benefits; increasing the Old Stoic Society’s online footprint; growing the mentoring programme; increasing the amount of regional and global activity as well as improving the regular event programme; increasing participation in women’s sport; instigating regular sub-committee meetings to run the OS Centenary celebrations and encouraging Stowe to take part in National Schools’ Competitions.
Ideas and suggestions from Members are very welcome. On behalf of the OSS Committee, I would like to thank our Members who have been part of our activity over the course of the last year. We are looking forward to driving our new projects forward over the coming year.
Jonathon Hall (Bruce 79)
Old Stoic Society Chairman
6 December 2017