The Old Wellingtonian (OW) Society is an independent body which works hand-in-hand with the College, the college Development Office and the Wellington College Association to further the interests of Wellington and its past and present pupils.
The Society has its own website www.owsociety.co.uk and is linked to the College website.
The Society shares a database with Wellington Development Office. New IT is being introduced to provide both a substantial online link between OWs and the school with careers and work experience very much in mind and to broaden online communication between former pupils and each other. The greatest resource of the OW Society is its members.
The Society is independently financed by its members. The Life Membership is currently £43.00 per term for 5-year pupils, £107.50 per term for 2-year pupils and pro-rata for all others. Similar arrangements are in place at virtually all former pupil societies of the major public schools.
The OW Society is run by Committee. Elected members stand for re-election every three years and are approved at the Annual General Meeting.
The OW Office is situated in the corridor leading to the Driver Rooms and is run by the Society’s Secretary and Assistant Secretary. The office is open from Monday to Friday through the year.
Secretary: Mr Chris Potter
Assistant Secretary: Mrs Kay Mitchell
Telephone: +44 (0)1344 444069 or 4127
Mobile: +44 (0)7747 784096
Fax: +44 (0)1344 444007
The Aims of the Old Wellingtonian Society
A brief summary for new members on leaving College:
These aims are met by the Society undertaking the following principal tasks:
- To further the interests of Wellington College and its past and present members and, in the words of the Society’s founder in 1890, to keep former pupils in touch with each other and with the school
- To maintain a Register of names of all who have passed through College since 1859 and the addresses of all those alive. This lists in the index all 20,000 or so Old Wellingtonians who have passed through College since January 1859, with biographies and addresses of those believed still living. It also includes 70 pages of information about the College: its inception, history and development; notable OWs; staff; prize winners; maps and plans and much else.
- The offering of further careers advice and support, using the willing help of an extensive OW network
- The production, jointly with College, of the Wellington Year Book, which is the official record of the school year and contains an OW section. The Year Book is sent free to all Life Members of the OW Society. All current pupils, members and ex-members of Common Room who have been offered Honorary Membership and Governors, also receive a copy
- The maintenance of the database giving details of all past members of College. This includes the latest known addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses. (The OW office will give addresses to bona fide OW callers, but will not allow any access for commercial purposes)
- The production of the Wellington College Register. This is published approximately every 10–12 years, the latest (12th) edition covering entrants up to the summer of 2006
- The organisation and financial support of sporting activities for OWs. The Clubs and Societies are organised by the Chairman of the Sports and Games Committee, with individual Secretaries for each sport, whose names are listed in the Year Book. Sports clubs presently exist 33 for rugby, cricket, hockey, squash, tennis, rackets, golf, football, polo, shooting and sailing. Grants made by the OW Society Committee for the various sports will total over £13,000 this year. Younger OWs are frequently subsidised to enable them to participate
- The presentation of prizes to current Wellingtonians both for academic and sporting achievement. At present £1,300 is allocated for regular prizes (those reported on Speech Day and in the Year Book) and additionally medallions are awarded to those achieving success at sports and in the arts, at national level: examples include England rugby, hockey or cricket teams at any age level, the Rosslyn Park Sevens Tournament, the Rackets Championships at Queen’s, the National Youth Orchestra and the National Youth Theatre.
- The organisation of reunions at College for OWs of all ages
- The organisation of reunions throughout the UK, both regional and by profession
- The organisation of reunions abroad by the OW rep. of that country in conjunction with the OW Society
- The administration of Charitable Funds. The four principal funds are the Herbert OW Trust, the OW Society Charitable Trust, the J L Bevir Memorial Fund and the Melissa Morgan Memorial Fund. Note that these are quite separate from the Muir Scholarships and other funds administered by College
- Herbert OW Trust: this Trust supports OW parents paying school fees who have unexpectedly become financially straitened, whether their child is at Wellington or another school.
- OW Society Charitable Trust: at present it supports prizes as above but has now started to offer bursaries for the children of OWs, support for young OWs in all OW based activities and increased help for OWs in distressed circumstances.
- J L Bevir Memorial Fund: (pronounced “Beaver”): this is in memory of Joseph Louis Bevir who was at Wellington for most of his life, as pupil and Assistant Master, who founded the OW Society and had an enormous influence on the College in its earlier years. The scope of this is in line with his believed wishes and now generally supports young (18-30) OWs on socially desirable and character-building overseas activities, such as GAP year projects, and also certain overseas projects such as medical electives.
- Melissa Morgan Memorial Fund: this is in memory of Melissa Morgan, a former Apsley pupil and is available to OW girls under the age of 25 to help fund a structured, enterprising and original GAP year activity in the UK or overseas before or after university. Application can be made at any time up to 12 months before the start of a project.
The Kingsley Society is envisaged as a Society for younger OWs who would like to connect or reconnect with each other and the College. The Society will organise and host a number of events throughout the year at the College and various external venues.
These events will be a combination of purely social and other practical events such as careers networking opportunities. In time, the Society’s aim is to fund bursaries for deserving children to attend Wellington, and thus to make a difference to them that is genuinely life-changing. These bursaries will be available to all potential Wellingtonians.