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Old Alleynian Association President

Graham Ward CBE (OA 1963 - 1970)

In 1963, Graham came to Dulwich College having been granted a local authority scholarship from the Croydon Education Authority. To this day, Graham still feels blessed to have benefited from the Dulwich Experiment and took every opportunity to make the most of his time at the College.

It was in the Third Form, when his strength caught up with his height, that Graham really found his feet. He began to represent the College on the rugby field, starting with the U-14s and eventually earning a place in the 1st XV in 1968. The team won every match that year, including a victory at Llandovery College when the whole village closed down to come and spectate. Graham also represented the College at discus, shot putt and high jump, and was Captain of the basketball team, convincing the College that it should be recognised as an official Minor Sport. He was also in the School Choir and the Royal Naval Section, becoming Cadet Coxswain in 1969/70.

Academically, Graham was on the Science side, where he excelled as an all-rounder. Benefiting from some exceptional coaching from Peter Rees, he obtained a place to read Chemistry at Jesus College, Oxford, which provided a broad and fulfilling educational experience. When he was not busy with scientific research, Graham was boxing and playing rugby for the College. He became Captain of the Oxford University Amateur Boxing Club for the 1973/74 season and helped them to beat Cambridge 7-2 - the greatest winning margin since 1954.

On leaving Oxford, Graham joined Price Waterhouse (subsequently PricewaterhouseCoopers), where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant and spent the next 36 years of his life, 24 as a partner. Both during and after his time at PW/PwC, Graham was blessed with opportunities to serve in a number of ways, including being President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Auditor of The Duchy of Cornwall, Founding Chief Commissioner of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact and a Director of the UK Civil Aviation Authority. These opportunities extended internationally, bringing the chance to work in around 70 countries.

Having been appointed CBE in the 2004 Birthday Honours for services to exports, Graham was privileged to be invested by Her late Majesty and enjoyed an exceptional morning at Buckingham Palace with his family.

The circle of life has now brought Graham back to Dulwich. In 2007, Eddie George, as Chairman of the Governors, invited him to become a Governor, which led to Graham becoming Chair of the Finance Committee. There were some significant challenges to be overcome, including the collapse of the old Science Block and the building of The Laboratory, but working with the Master, fellow Governors, and both teaching and operational staff was a huge pleasure. On retiring as a Governor in 2019, Graham was honoured to be appointed a Fellow of Dulwich College and now feels privileged to have been elected President of the Old Alleynian Association.

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