Founded in 1866, Alexandra College has been at the forefront of education for girls in Ireland for almost 150 years. Given the significant changes in our society, our workplaces and our education system over that time it is truly remarkable that an institution could survive and prosper for so long. And, despite these changes, the values and beliefs that gave us impetus and momentum in our early decades are the same ones that drive us forward today. It is a firm belief in the natural place of women as equal partners in all aspects of our society that sets us apart and makes us different.
Through 150 years of war and peace, boom and bust, challenge and change, Alexandra College has retained a sense of purpose, a sense of community and a social conscience that keeps it as relevant today as it ever was.
And, for us, reaching 150 years in 2016 means two things. Firstly the need to recognise the achievements of so many people that have supported the College and its ideals and made it what it is. And secondly the need to think ahead and ask what it is we wish to achieve over the next 10, 20, 50 or 150 years.
During 2016 we will have events that remind everyone of the great achievements we have seen over the life of the College. We will bring past and current pupils together to recognise the results of great thinking, hard effort and sheer determination to give women the same opportunities as men to have safe, happy and successful careers and lives in Ireland and overseas.
Our past success has always resulted from the plans and visions of women who saw what had to be done and would not be diverted from the right path to achieve this. Women such as Anne Jellicoe, Henrietta White, Gwendolen Holloway and Sheila Morgan were all dynamic visionaries for Alex and what could be achieved here.
And today we still face many challenges – how to remain committed to a broad, excellent curriculum when narrower alternatives are out there, how to maintain our diverse and enthusiastic student body in difficult financial times, how to keep a focus on our social and community work, and how to keep our girls focused on the right values and behaviours in a time of change and challenge.
To achieve our objectives we need motivation, commitment and funding. Funds have got tighter in recent years and we have never been a College for rich or privileged girls, nor do we wish to become one. So we need a clear vision and careful planning to remain the type of College we have been for so long. We will share our plans with you and look for your help in achieving these. Whether it’s supporting College events, contributing to our fundraising or sending your daughters to school with us we know we can depend on you to help Alex retain its position as an innovative, excellent and rewarding place for young girls to learn and develop.