It is a privilege, on behalf of the Board of American Friends of Stowe (AFS), to provide this short report on another busy, productive and successful year.
During 2019, we continued to pursue our dual mission – to increase opportunities for our over 400 friends of Stowe and Old Stoics located in North America to connect with each other and provide critical support for the projects that help provide Stoics with a world-class education.
Three particular highlights of this work were:
• Gathering over 55 members of the Stowe Community for our annual cocktail reception, held again on familiar turf at the Racquet & Tennis Club on Park Avenue in Manhattan. Our Guest of Honor this year was Jamie Niven, the son of Academy Award-winning actor and Old Stoic David Niven (Grafton 28). Jamie has led a most distinguished career, presently Senior Advisor at Phillips having spent 2 years at Sotheby’s where he rose to become Chairman of the Americas – however it was his insight into the extraordinary life and achievements of his father which formed the delightful focus of the evening. The Headmaster, Dr Wallersteiner, moderated an entertaining and illuminating discussion with Jamie, before Brian Hecht, former Chair of AFS, presented Jamie, on his father’s behalf, with the sixth American Worthies Award.
• Thanks to the initiative and leadership of Christopher Dean, organizing a convivial and well attended event in Los Angles for Old Stoics located on the West Coast. This is the now the second year in a row we have held a West Coast-specific event, and we are delighted to extend our reach into events away from our traditional focus in New York
• Sponsoring the new Sprague Stowe-Harvard Fellow David Frankle, who graduated from Harvard and has successfully completed the first term of his year of service and self-discovery living and teaching at Stowe, giving Stoics a unique international perspective.
Beyond these efforts to build community and communication among the North American Stowe community, in the past year, generous donations from members of Stowe’s community across the US have continued to support Stowe’s ongoing commitment to excellence. Contributions have helped to fund scholarships and bursaries enabling more students from diverse and less-advantaged backgrounds to receive a world-class Stowe education, as well as supporting the construction and establishment of a new state-of-the-art applied Design Technology and Engineering Centre and ongoing efforts to conserve and restore the school’s magnificent historic buildings. We truly are enormously grateful to all those who have supported AFS during the course of the last year – and we look forward, in partnership with the Development team at Stowe, to reporting to you on the positive impact and difference that your wonderful generosity has helped to create.
Finally, the community of Old Stoics in the US is always growing and we want to make and stay in contact with as many as possible. Any Old Stoics, parents or friends of Stowe who find themselves in the United States, we invite you to contact us via our Facebook page so we may include you in our events and communications.
Noah Walley (Grafton 80) Chair of American Friends of Stowe