The original Canberra Grammar School Foundation was launched in 1979 and soon supported construction of the Senior School Science facilities, which opened in 1983. Thereafter, the Foundation’s capital campaigns made major contributions to maintaining and developing the facilities of the School throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
Projects supported by the Foundation in this era included conversion of the former Library to the CGS Gallery, improvements to the Boarding Houses, refurbishment of the Art, Design and Technology Centre, landscaping around the Resource Centre, and the renovation of the War Memorial Hall and Dining Hall. The Foundation also supported extension of the Music Department, construction of the International Centre and the PDHPE Centre, and installation of the Peace Window in the CGS Chapel.
Campaigns by the first Foundation also saw the establishment of numerous scholarships and bursaries, notably the Paul McKeown Scholarship, recognising the enormous contribution to the School of its longest-serving Headmaster. In 2003, the original Foundation’s funds were transferred to the School’s investment portfolio and the School took over the funding of scholarships, backed by its investments.
In 2013, the new CGS Foundation was launched to provide an active and forward-looking vehicle for community engagement and philanthropy.
It incorporated the funds of the original Foundation and its spirit was ignited by the extraordinary gift of $8 million by former CGS student, Mr Terry Snow, one of the largest single donations to any School in Australian history, for the creation of The Snow Centre for Education in the Asian Century.
Since its re-inception, the CGS Foundation has become the repository of the School Renewal Charge, paid by all families on acceptance of enrolment to the School, and it has grown through annual giving campaigns, through the campaign for endowment of the Robert Poate Scholarship for Leadership, and through the exceptional deed of gift of more than half a million dollars by the outgoing CGS Old Boys’ Association for creation of the Old Boys’ Association Scholarship.
Present CGS Foundation
In 2013, a decision was made to reinstall a Foundation due to a need for an active and forward-thinking Foundation to facilitate community engagement and philanthropy at CGS.
2013 saw a framework for the Foundation taking shape. A key priority was ensuring the full transparency and accountability of Foundation operations, and the Foundation was set up as its own business entity, autonomous from the School, with its own constitution and independent Board. A mission and set of aims were developed by the Foundation Board to guide the fledgling Foundation in its activities and clearly define its purpose and role within the community of CGS.
The first comprehensive and targeted annual giving campaign for the Foundation was held across June 2014 and beyond, with all proceeds directed towards the Campaign for CGS. Results were encouraging, with the campaign outperforming all prior years and bringing in a 50% increase in donors in 2014. The campaign also brought in a number of new Foundation Members.
In August 2014 the Foundation hosted its first donor thank you event with a private viewing of Arthur Boyd – Agony and Ecstasy at the National Gallery of Australia.
2014 saw the Foundation developing a dedicated website for the CGS Alumni community. The website was launched in early 2015 and is designed to provide all Alumni with a dynamic and informative way of engaging with each other, and with the School.
Related to this, in early 2015 the Old Boys Association (OBA) was in the process of proposing to wind up the Association and transferring to the CGS Foundation Scholarship Fund the corpus of funds it currently manages. This proposal was passed by special resolution at the CGS Old Boys’ Association AGM in May 2015, with a Deed of Gift to be developed and approved by the OBA in the remainder of 2015.
The strength of community spirit was ignited further by an extraordinary $8 million donation from CGS Old Boy, Mr Terry Snow. This gift, one of the largest to any school in Australian history, established the Terry Snow Scholarship for Global Studies and has enabled the development of the Snow Centre for Education in the Asian Century. In March 2015, The CGS Foundation hosted a special evening function to thank CGS Old Boy Mr Terry Snow for his extraordinary generosity, and together with donors and key stakeholders, celebrated the opening of this state-of-the-art facility.
Whilst always poised to support the School in achieving its vision of becoming a world-class leader in education, the Foundation is firmly focused on building the long-term prospects of Canberra Grammar School. With over $7M now held in Foundation funds, the strength of this growing corpus will be nothing short of transformative for CGS.
Much has been achieved in these first fledgling years of the new CGS Foundation and much more lies ahead. The Snow Centre now stands as a very visible and impressive display of what is possible when the kindness and generosity of our community and the Foundation come together, transforming the School’s educational aspirations into reality. It is this union that will be fundamental in bringing the untold potential of this School to fruition, and with it, unleashing the limitless potential of our students.