The Master's Welcome 

Dulwich College was founded by Edward Alleyn on 21 June 1619 for ‘poor scholars’ so that ‘good learning’ might be available to all, irrespective of social background or financial resources. This 400th anniversary programme of events and activities aspires to be a fitting tribute to our Founder, giving thanks to his enduring legacy – social and educational - and employing it as an inspiration for our pupils and our wider community today. Some of the events described in this programme will make a direct contribution to our Bursary Fund and will ensure that we can extend access to the College to able pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

The collaborative work of people from every constituency of the College has created a wonderful almanac of commemoration and celebration for our diverse and vibrant community: Alleynians; Old Alleynians; staff; parents and families; governors; and our friends in and around Dulwich and Southwark and across the globe, embracing particularly our partner schools of the Southwark Schools’ Learning Partnership and of Dulwich College International.

If I were to select just four highlights from the quatercentenary programme, they might be the Dulwich Olympiad 2019, the Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, and the unveiling of two newly commissioned artworks: Gerard Stamp’s Dulwich College (2018) to sit alongside Camille Pissarro’s Dulwich College (1871) and Helen Whittaker’s commemorative stained glass window to be installed in the Lower Hall. These projects share a purpose and a message: to honour our traditions, while inspiring innovative approaches from all our pupils in all they do.

I look forward to welcoming you to our rejuvenated campus throughout 2019. Its landscape will shortly feature 100 newly planted trees resistant to climate change; they have been selected to be enjoyed by the Dulwich community on its 500th anniversary. We mark 400 years of Dulwich College history and look forward to taking on the challenges of the next 100 years. It is not inconceivable that a good number of those pupils celebrating with us in 2019 will be alive to tell their children, grand-children and great-grand-children about the 400th in 2119.

Dr Joe Spence
The Master, Dulwich College