For many generations Alexandra College has played a key part in the developing role of women in every sector of society in Ireland and overseas. From a time when higher education and the workplace were closed to women, through to the abundant opportunities of the 21st century the College has upheld principles of equality and fairness for all.
As Alex girls have left the College and moved on to a breadth of careers and lives elsewhere, they have always sought to maintain their College links and friendships.
Alexandra College Alumnae
The Guild remains a forum for Alex girls across the generations to keep in touch and make a difference. It provides a network for like-minded women who seek to support each other through their lives. And it does so much more besides.
Formed in 1897, the aims of the Guild were ‘to form a bond of union among present students, to keep past students in touch with the College…to encourage the undertaking by them of useful work…and to interest them in, and inform them about, women’s work’.
Those aims remain at the forefront today. We organise three annual events to bring people together. The highlight is a reunion lunch held at the school every spring, where all past pupils are welcome. We have a bursaries charity that financially supports elderly women living alone and distributes hampers at Christmas. We also try to support the student group. For example, helping support College events and with College fees when a student’s family was in particular difficulty. We intend to develop this aspect of the Guild so that we have a greater presence in College life as it unfolds today.
Each year we issue two newsletters – one is very detailed with plenty of news and stories on the workings of the Guild and the other, published online only, is less formal, giving news on former Alex students.
You can contact the alumnae by emailing email@example.com
Alexandra College Alumnae Business Network
Alexandra College Business Network is the Alex “old girls” business network. It will connect you with other Alex girls, offer you the opportunity to network with them and support you in your career, profession or business. Would you like to be involved with a vibrant, women’s business network made up of your fellow Alumnae? We are looking to build on the initial interest shown earlier this year and develop a wide and comprehensive database of Alexandrians from all walks of the business sphere to come together to network, share contacts and ideas and create business opportunities for all.
ALEX ALUMNAE ANNUAL BURSARIES APPEAL
Our mission is to improve the quality of life for the women we support.
HELPING WOMEN WITH FINANCIAL SUPPORT
This is the oldest charity associated with Alexandra College.
We support 18 ladies, of any religious denomination, who are experiencing financial difficulties, through an annual bursary. These ladies receive an income supplement of €1,980 p.a. (paid in bi-monthly instalments), a Hamper at Christmas and two visits per year from a committee member.
We need to raise an additional €20,000 p.a. to maintain our 18 bursaries. We are a voluntary committee comprised of past pupils and depend solely on the generosity of the parents and past pupils of Alexandra College to provide money for these bursaries. The expenses incurred by this charity are minimal and are limited to bank charges and postage costs.
The committee work to ensure that all donations go directly to the ladies in need. Our operational costs are €36,000 p.a. and currently we are running at a deficit of €20,000 p.a. so in order to maintain the bursaries, the committee needs your help.
Please help us to help these ladies through a one-off donation or better still an annual Standing Order donation.
HELPING WOMEN IN OUR LOCAL COMMUNITY
We help women in our local shelter to start a new life.
The Alexandra College Alumnae Bursaries Committee are pleased to have formed a new link with local Women’s Shelter. Each year we are providing a grant to assist two women as they leave the shelter to help them establish their new lives (ie: a deposit on an apartment and/or buy household necessities).
We are delighted that the school is getting involved with our outreach project – The Wash Bag Appeal.
When the women and children arrive at the shelter at any time of the day or night, the literally have walked out of their homes with nothing at all. Can you imagine leaving your house one night, arriving at a strange place, hoping you can stay and waking up the next morning without a toothbrush to brush your teeth or a hairbrush to do your hair?
How can we in Alexandra College help them? We would like to provide each woman and child arriving at the shelter with a wash bag, containing essential toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap/body wash, shampoo, deodorant and a hairbrush). We will have a Wash Bag Collection in the school. The Transition Year students coordinate collecting your donations and prepare the wash bag for delivery to the Women’s Shelter.
Please look at home and see what you can give, maybe you have unwanted Christmas gift sets which can be donated
HELPING WOMEN FELL LESS ISOLATED
We maintain personal contact with all our ladies and provide them with support.
Some quotes from our ladies.
“What a lovely surprise to receive another hamper from you this year, I never take it for granted! It is always filled with so many delights; it means so much to think of the girls choosing so many thoughtful gifts for me. It is the only gift I received at this time of year. It makes my Christmas bearable.”
“I had to leave my family home due to domestic violence a number of years ago with my two small boys. We ended up in a Women’s Shelter during Christmas week. Although we are all doing well now, I find this time of the year so hard. When my hamper arrives I try to put all the bad things behind me and am so very thankful that so many people are thinking of me. The hamper is full of wonderful treats. Please thank the girls for their kindness, generosity and the time they put into making up the hamper; I really appreciate it.”
“I am not about to get around as much as I used to. With my grant, I was able to refit my bathroom and install a shower. Your help is very much appreciated.”
“I received a very large electricity bill, my cheque arrived from the Bursaries Committee and I was ever so grateful for the help.”
“Thankfully my 11-year-old car passed the NCT, without my grant, I would be unable to ensure it, very many thanks for my grant.”
“I had been very neglectful about visiting the dentist as I was very worried about the cost. I had broken fillings and was in a lot of pain. With the bursary grant I was able to get urgent dental treatment, thank you so much for your help.”
These are just some of the stories about how we are making a difference in these ladies lives, you can help us to be able to tell more.
TO MAKE A DONATION
We need your help in supporting these ladies, and any donation is much appreciated.
Please make the cheque payable to
ALEXANDRA ALUMNAE BURSARIES
and send to
Hon. Treasurer, 16 Princeton, Ardilea, Clonskeagh, Dublin 14
BY BANK TRANSFER
ALEXANDRA ALUMNAE BURSARIES ACCOUNT,
AIB, Westmoreland Street, Dublin 2.
Account Number: 00027479 Sort Code: 93 12 25
IBAN: IE44 AIBK 9312 2500 0274 79
Please make sure to insert your details in the narrative when making a payment electronically.
You can make an online payment through the Alexandra College website by clicking here
If you have already donated, please accept our sincere thanks for your continued support. It is very much appreciated.
Application for a Bursary and offers of new collectors can be made by contacting:
The Hon. Secretary, Alexandra College Bursaries Committee, c/o Alexandra College, Milltown, Dublin 6. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact us Email: email@example.com
Alexandra College Alumnae Bursaries is authorised as an ‘eligible charity’ for the purposes of Section 848A Taxes Consolidated Act 1997. The CHY Ref No. 1721/20002503 form can be downloaded here.
The Alex Bursary Committee.
Ms. Clodagh Conroy – Chairperson – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Rachel Barry – Hon Treasurer – email@example.com
Ms. Sinead Buckley Quinn – Hon. Secretary – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Susan Whelan – email@example.com
Ms. Fiona Ryan – Fiona@timepoint.ie
Ms. Jane Grindle – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Priscilla Kirwan-Browne – email@example.com
Ms. Aisling O’Kelly – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Gemma Dargan – email@example.com
London Branch Committee
Ms. Eva Bangle – London Branch Secretary/Treasurer – Eva.firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Lynda Soltysiak – London Branch Chairperson – Lyndasoltysiak@me.com
Facebook Group and Page – London Branch Alexandra Guild, Alexandra College
Page link: @Alumnae.AlexandraCollege.LondonBranch
LinkedIn – London Branch Alexandra College Guild and Alumni Group
Alexandra College Guild was founded in 1897, not only to form a bond of union between past and present students and staff, and to keep them in touch with the College, but also to promote a spirit of service to the community and to undertake social and philanthropic work.
There are many aspects to the Alex Alumnae, from social events to charitable work, from golf and hockey clubs to retirement care. We keep members in touch with each other and many of them enjoy helping with our range of activities.
As well as running most of our events in Dublin we also have an active branch in London where past pupils meet and organise events.
The AGM and Reunion Lunch are held in the College on the second Saturday in May each year. Everyone is welcome to the Reunion Lunch, our annual big push to reunite the ‘decade’ years – 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years after leaving Alex. The Guild also holds a social event each autumn in the College. The Branch London hold their own events and would be delighted to receive new members.
ALEXANDRA COLLEGE GOLFING SOCIETY
The Alexandra College Golfing Society hold their annual outing in the summer each year – new golfing members are always welcome.
The Old Alex Golf Society will hold our 2018 annual outing at the Grange Golf Club, Rathfarnham, on Monday 10th September from 1.00pm onwards. We do hope you will come along to play and catch up with fellow past pupils and golfers.
If you would like to join the Old Alex Golfing Society, please email email@example.com to sign up.
OLD ALEXANDRA HOCKEY CLUB
Old Alexandra Hockey is a Senior Club, which incorporates numerous Senior and Junior teams, plus Veterans (over 35s) and Colts (6 and upwards). Old Alexandra Hockey Club play and train in Alexandra College – new members are always welcome.
ALEXANDRA GUILD HOUSE (NOW COWPER CARE)
Members of the Alexandra College Guild saw a need for a retirement home for elderly ladies and established the Alexandra Guild House in 1954 in Harold’s Cross. Due to changing times – staffing, salaries, maintaining Health Board conditions – it was agreed to merge the Guild House with Cowper Care. A new purpose built nursing home and sheltered housing facility was built on a greenfield site, kindly donated by Kilternan Parish. Cowper Care opened its doors in July 2007 and the independent living houses were named Alexandra Close. Ladies from Alexandra Guild House were transferred either to Cowper Care in Cowper Road or to the Kilternan premises as appropriate.
Cowper Care does need the continued support of Alex alumnae, so volunteers, donations and bequests are gratefully received. Past pupils of the College are represented on the Residents and Visitors Committee – they organise social visits to Kilternan to enjoy a game of cards, or just to chat with the residents. Alexandra students (particularly Transition Year students) continue to visit Gascoigne House in Cowper Road and the Kilternan property during term time, these visits are greatly appreciated by the ladies and students alike.
THE ALEX ALUMNAE BUSINESS NETWORK - ALEX DOES FOOD
The Alex Alumnae Business Network will host the first event in the Alex Does series this September.
Alex Does Food – Recipes For Success – will be held in Fallon & Byrne, Exchequer Street, Dublin 2 on September 12th at 6.30pm.
Alex Alumnae from the food, restaurant, retail and cookery industries will share their tips for success and their own personal success stories.
Renowned chef Rachel Allen will be joined by a panel of fellow Alumnae.
All are welcome to attend and tickets can be purchased through the College online payment system linked below. Please note that the event is listed under Alumnae Events.
There are a limited number of tickets available so book now to avoid disappointment.
We look forward to seeing you all.
ALUMNAE IN THE NEWS
Past pupil Simone Rocha studied Art for her Leaving Certificate exams in Alexandra College and graduated in 2004.
In 2008 she graduated with a BA in Fashion from The National College of Art and Design in Dublin, continuing in 2010 to graduate from the acclaimed Fashion MA at Central Saint Martin’s College, London. Simone debuted at London Fashion Week in September 2010.
Simone has received accolades including the 2013 “Emerging Designer British Fashion” Award, “Young Designer of the Year” at The Harper’s Women of the Year Awards 2014, the 2014 British Fashion Award for “New Establishment Designer” and much more.
In August 2015 Simone opened her first shop on Mount Street in London and now has a store in New York and stockists around the world, including Dover Street Market in London and Havana in Dublin, Ireland.
The Irish Times recently interviewed Simone about her upcoming autumn/winter collection. You can read the full article on the Irish Times website here.
Mavis Arnold graduated from Alexandra College in 1954. Her groundbreaking work in investigative journalism inspired movies like The Magdalene Sisters.
Her political activism saw her become a founding member of the Women’s Political Association, with figures like Gemma Hussey and Mary Henry.
You can read the full article on the Independent website here.
Susan Denham left Alexandra College in 1961. In the Four Courts during the early 1970s, Denham belonged to a small group of women who broke new ground just as the women’s movement was raising its voice outside. In the macho world of the law library, she would often be the only woman in a courtroom.
A portrait of Susan, the former Chief Justice of Ireland, has been mounted on the walls at the Honorable Society of King’s Inns. Susan is the first woman to be put on these walls. The portrait is only mounted once the office-holder has retired.
The Fine Arts Committee commissioned the portrait of the former Chief Justice now gracing the walls in their historic Dining Hall.
The artist from whom the committee commissioned the Denham portrait is US born, now Dublin based, Mr William A. Nathans. He has a website: willnathanspaintings.com
Reverend Canon Liz McElhinney
On Friday, November 10th, a selection of poems penned by Liz McElhinney will be read by internationally acclaimed actor Ian McElhinney at a very special evening of poetry and music in Shankill Parish Church, Lurgan.
Reverend Canon Liz McElhinney (nee Maguire) is a past pupil of Alexandra College. Canon McElhinney grew up in Abbeytown, Co Roscommon with her father, Rev J Maguire. She left Alex in 1961 and achieved 4 Honours in her Intermediate Certificate.
In her early life, Liz worked at Portadown Technical College in Lurgan and was regarded as a very gifted teacher. After training in Dublin, she became a curate in Magheralin.
Reverend Canon Liz McElhinney passed away in June 2017 after battling Motor Neurone Disease.
Toni Letts grew up in Dublin and attended Alexandra College, before going to London to train as a nurse. She joined the Labour Party and has served as a councillor in Selhurst since 1986. Toni then went on to become Madam Mayor twice.
Toni was first moved by homelessness whilst nursing in Guy’s Hospital in the late ’60s and went on to help rebuild Croydon YMCA from being on the brink of bankruptcy into South London YMCA.
Miltown, Dublin 6