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Centenary Dinner Launches Brock 100 Fundraising Campaign

September 2013

As part of a week of celebrations to mark its centenary year, Brockenhurst College launched its Brock 100 fundraising campaign by hosting a dinner and charity auction on 19th September. 

The campaign seeks to raise £100,000 to secure a lasting legacy for future students of the College; a new state-of-the-art Student Centre is planned to support Brock’s commitment to excellence in education for the next one hundred years. 

130 guests were invited onto the campus and enjoyed a sumptuous four-course meal, which was prepared by the Craft Guild of Chefs in conjunction with the College’s sixth form Catering students; all service on the evening was also provided by Brock’s highly trained Hospitality students. 

Attendees were given the chance to bid for an array of exciting prizes, kindly donated by local businesses and partners of Brockenhurst College, including an adventure day at Hengistbury Head, a signed Southampton football shirt, spa experiences at Careys Manor and Chewton Glen and a dining experience at Palace House, Beaulieu. Toastmaster John Grosse, a former pupil of Brockenhurst County High from 1954 to 1959, hosted the auction. He said: “It was a fantastic opportunity to come back to Brock at be involved in such a worthwhile cause; I have very fond memories of my time there, so to be involved in the centenary celebrations was a real pleasure.” 

The glittering evening attracted many high-profile guests from across the region, including the Rt. Hon Ralph Montagu and his sister Rt. Hon. Mary Montagu Scott, who both studied at the College. Also amongst the attendees were Dame Mary Fagan (The Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire), Lord and Lady Glasbury, Sir and Lady Craufurd, Lady Beith, Peter Scott MBE and Professor John Vinney. 

Actor Guy Henry, of Harry Potter and Holby City fame, studied at Brock in the late seventies, and also attended the dinner. He said of his time at the College: “I had a great time at Brock – it is doubtful that I would now be prancing about on stage and screen had I not gone there and received the benefit of inspiration from a particular English and Drama teacher. The open spaces and open minds of Brock were a very valuable part of my growing-up, and I remain very grateful to the College for its part in my progress.” 

Principal Di Roberts commented: “The Brock 100 event was a wonderful opportunity for us to celebrate the achievements and longevity of this unique and much-loved institution. From its early days in a Sunday school hall, to the present day with our state-of-the-art educational facilities, Brock has played an integral role in the lives of the students who have passed through our doors, many of whom have gone on to achieve success locally, nationally and internationally in their chosen careers.” 

Earlier in the week, the College opened its doors for a centenary open evening giving former students, staff and the local community the chance to come on to the campus for an evening of celebration and a nostalgic look back at the last one hundred years in its history. 

Visitors reunited with friends from previous decades and found out how the College evolved from a small Pupil Teacher Centre with eighteen students, to a County High School, a Grammar School and finally to its present day incarnation as tertiary college with over 3,000 full time students, 8,000 part time adult learners and over 1,000 training apprentices. The event included an address from the Principal and exciting performances from current students. Visitors also viewed a display of artifacts and photographs from the College’s history, including the first school register from 1913. 

The College has also started collecting items depicting life at modern-day Brock, which will be compiled within a ‘time capsule’ and sealed at the close of the centenary year in September 2014. A series of student projects across a range of subject areas, with a common theme of connecting with Brock’s heritage, also commenced during the celebratory week. 

Further information about the Brock 100 project can be found at www.brock.ac.uk/brock100

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