Alumnae Reunion Dinner 2019
The annual Alumnae Reunion took place on Saturday 11th May in the College. Although all alumnae are welcome every year, this year was especially aimed at women who graduated in a year ending in 9. The day kicked off with the Alumnae AGM, which takes place in the library, with all alumnae invited to attend.
Such was the level of interest in this year’s event that over 180 women, who had graduated between 1953 and 2009, came to the college for a drinks reception at 7pm, followed by dinner in the Henrietta White Centre.
The College Jazz Band greeted everyone and set the tone for what was to be a great night! With some ladies travelling from as far afield as Canada, it was certainly a night to remember, with many old friends meeting for the first time in many years.
As well as the attendance of a number of ladies who graduated from Alexandra College in the 1950s, of particular note is the attendance of Ms Honor Stuart, who was a teacher in Alexandra College for many years and still attends many College events, at 101 years old. What an incredible woman!
Many thanks to the Alumnae Committee for all of their hard work in the run up to this event and to the Jazz band for giving up their Saturday evening to provide some wonderful music.
Calling all past Alexandrans!
We love to celebrate our Alumnae and share their success stories with the College community to inspire our current students.
We plan to help you promote your business through all our College platforms, including our website, our weekly digital newsletter, Alex Press, and our social media routes. We invite you to engage with us by sending us news about your ventures. Even if you haven’t been in touch with the College since your graduation, we’d love to hear how you’re doing. You never stop being an Alex girl.
Let us know how you’re progressing and allow us to help promote you and your ideas.
You can email alumnae@
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 Network
The Alexandra College Network 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 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 personal, professional and business opportunities for all.
The Alexandra College Network runs a series of events called “Alex Does”. So far, we have held two very successful events; “Alex Does Food” and “Alex Does Finance”. These events brought successful Alumnae from the food and finance business together, to share their success stories with the Alexandra College Network.
We are proud to launch an online resource for alumnae working in finance; the Alex Business Network website.
We know that there are many Alumnae studying or working in finance, or perhaps are taking time out from working in finance: we invite all of you to submit a photograph and biography to be included in the website. For inclusion, please send a hi-res photo of yourself, plus a 200-word biography (including the year you graduated from Alex), by Friday 25th May to firstname.lastname@example.org. Our thanks to Lizzy Healy for designing the website.
Subscribe to the Alumnae emailing list to be kept up to date with the next event in the “Alex Does” series.
ALEXANDRA COLLEGE ALUMNAE BURSARIES CHARITY
When something has been around for well over a hundred years – it’s proof that it serves a valuable purpose.
In a forward thinking move, back in 1897, the College set up the Alexandra College Alumnae Bursaries Charity to put into practice the school’s philanthropic ethos (then known as The Alexandra Guild).
The Charity’s initial aim was to assist past pupils and staff of the college who found themselves in financial difficulty.
Through the work of the Alumnae Bursaries Committee, Alexandra College pupils (past and present) can offer assistance to women in need, of all denominations and from all walks of life, whether they are connected to the College or not, and in so doing can give something back to the community while acknowledging their own fortunate circumstances.
However, the important work of the committee is only possible due to the input of past pupils, whether by serving on the Committee itself, by making donations to the charity or by supporting the fundraising events run by the committee.
Our Alexandra College Alumnae Committee is the power house of the charity, carrying out incredible work.
Alexandra College Alumnae Bursaries 2019 Committee – Alumnae; Clodagh Lenehan (Chair), Priscilla Kirwan-Browne (Hon Sec), Ann Marie Hyland (Hon Tres), Sinéad Buckley Quinn, Gemma Dargan, Jane Grindle, Aisling O’Kelly, Fiona Ryan and Susan Whelan
Annual Washbag Appeal
Alexandra College Alumnae Bursaries Charity Wash Bag Appeal takes place in March each year. These wash bags are donated to the Women’s Refuge. Toiletries, and other things that we take for granted, are very scarce commodities at the Women’s Refuge. The TY pupils coordinate the collection of deodorant, shower gel, shampoo, moisturiser etc and arrange them into cheery wash bags.
As a reward for the pupils’ participation in the project, a ‘Pizza Party’ is up for grabs for the TY form that collects the most wash bags!
In 2018 over 500 wash bags were donated, providing nearly a year’s supply for women at the refuge, and so very much appreciated by them.
The Alexandra College Alumnae Bursaries Charity annually award one Bursary to the Women’s Refuge to provide help for women leaving the shelter to start independent lives.
Several popular events are organised annually and are well attended by past pupils, whose continued support is truly vital to their continued existence and is greatly appreciated.
Pancake Day 2019
In March, we held our annual Father and Daughter Pancake Breakfast. The event was a super success as record numbers attended – everyone enjoyed the pancakes and the chocolate sauce came in for a substantial amount of praise. The event afforded “the Dads” a chance to meet each other and spend some time with their daughters in the school environment. Over €2,500 was raised!
Huge thanks to Ms Ennis and Ms Lamplugh, to George and his staff, and to the 5th & 6th Year girls and the fathers who helped out on the day.
Spring Lunch 2019
The inaugural Alexandra College Bursaries Spring Charity Lunch took place in 2018 and followed this year in 2019 with an even more successful lunch.
Special thanks to everyone involved in the 2nd Annual Alexandra College Alumnae Bursaries Charity Spring Lunch last Friday at Marco Pierre Whites in Donnybrook. It was another huge success raising almost €16,000 for the school’s oldest charity and we are thrilled that this event has enabled us to support 8 more Annual Bursaries for Women in Need and ensures the sustainability of our charity.
The Bursaries Ambassadors (Rebecca Hyland, Grace Kennedy, Katherine McDermott and Julie Ryan) were a tremendous help with setting up before and during the lunch running the raffle. Many thanks to them for giving their time and energy to the event.
We would like to thank the very talented group of TY students under the direction of Ms. Fanagan, who performed of a selection of songs from “Made in Dagenham” which finished to resounding applause. Many thanks to Molly Childs, Millie Cooper, Emma Dent-Cullen, Jessica Fish, Clara Gorham, Alannah Harrison, Leah Kanellos, Izzy Saeed Maguire, Sorcha McGuinness, Alannah McKenna, Eva McKiernan, Carla Moran, Simi Oluborode, Victoria Rojas, Jill Rufli, Aine Sadlier, Ella Tempany, Jemima Turley, Sarah Turley and Emma Whelan.
Thank you to those who supported the event by coming to the lunch or donating an auction – it is very much appreciated. We are also very grateful to Jill Lowe (DNG) for expertly conducting our auction.
We were thrilled with all the support we got and the success of this event and look forward to running the lunch again next spring.
We are also very grateful to all who showed their support by attending these events and those who made donations to the Alexandra College Alumnae Bursaries Charity. It is very much appreciated.
Click below to read just some of the stories of how these bursaries are helping women in need.
To find out how you can help support this charity, click the images below for more information on how to make a donation. Alternatively, online payments can be made by clicking this link through our secure EasyPay service by selecting the “Friends of the Bursaries Appeal” option in the dropdown box.
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 2019 annual outing at the Milltown Golf Club, on Monday 23rd 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.
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 were 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. Alexandra students (particularly Transition Year students) visit Gascoigne House in Cowper Road and the Kilternan property during term time, these visits are greatly appreciated by the ladies and students alike.
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.
SOCIAL EVENTS AND REUNIONS
The AGM and Reunion Lunch are held in the College on the second Saturday in May each year. Everyone is welcome to the Reunion Dinner, 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.
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.
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.
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
To read more about the work of the Alexandra College Alumnae Bursary Charity, click 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: email@example.com
Contact us Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Alexandra College Alumnae Bursaries 2019 Committee –
Alumnae; Clodagh Lenehan (Chair), Priscilla Kirwan-Browne (Hon Sec), Ann Marie Hyland (Hon Tres), Sinéad Buckley Quinn, Gemma Dargan, Jane Grindle, Aisling O’Kelly, Fiona Ryan and Susan Whelan
Miltown, Dublin 6