The Alleyn Club President
James Thornton, FCA, MBA (OA 1967 - 1975)
James is most honoured, humbled, and not just a little surprised to be your President in this special year. He credits this to the enduring memory among OAs of his father Gerry Thornton an English teacher here for more than 30 years from 1955 -1986, much loved by colleagues and pupils alike. Gerry was Ivyholme Boarding House master when James came to the College in 1968, an 11 year old pupil of the Dulwich experiment, so he grew up on campus with his brother Damian (1976-1980) and sister, Emma. In the sixth form he was a Classicist but admits to spending most of his time playing sport. He played in the Rugby, Cricket and Hockey 1st teams for 3 years, captaining Rugby and Hockey for 2. He also won the 100 metres twice and both the Golf cups. He went on to Cambridge (1976-80), where he won 3 Rugby Blues. Capped for England Colts and England U23, he played for the University and London against the 1978 and 1979 All Blacks. For the OAs he fondly recalls wins against Old Whitgiftians and scoring the first OA century in the Cricketer cup.
His business career started as an Accountant, and moving to the US, he met his American wife JoAnn in Boston. He went on to Harvard Business School and then to Morgan Stanley in London. As a Company executive he worked at BAT Industries to demerge their sizeable financial services businesses and to launch Old Mutual on the Stock Exchange. His son Jamie (2004-2009) came to Dulwich and his wife moved to her current role as Junior School Registrar. He joined the Alleyn Club Committee in 2011 and since then has witnessed its strong progress through the professional networking and mentoring programme. He attributes this to the shared vision and extensive collaboration between the College and the Club.
As President he will look to continue these programmes and consider with the Committee how to broaden the Club’s appeal to less-engaged OAs and improve its services for younger OAs. The wish is to remain relevant to their fast-changing interests and career needs and at the same time maintain the strength of engagement with existing Societies.
James was delighted that members have approved an initial £100,000 donation from the Alleyn Club towards the Bursary Appeal, which he hopes OAs will view as a spur to giving back to support future generations of the New Dulwich experiment in recognition of the advantages they themselves gained from their education at the College.
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