A Timeless Mission: The Strategic Plan of the Old Boys’ Union (2017 - 2020)
From the President (2014-2019)
In 2016, the Old Boys’ Union began a process of strategic review and set out to plan the next chapter of our history. It is with pleasure that we are able to share with you our new plan to enrich the lives of Scots Old Boys.
A Timeless Mission: The Strategic Plan of the Old Boys’ Union 2017-2020 provides for the continued development of the Old Boys’ Union in line with our timeless mission to make a positive and lifelong difference in the hearts and minds of Old Boys.
We believe in planning for the future to ensure both continued development and alignment with the rich history of our community.
It is clear that, after the implementation of our previous plan, we are now a relevant and outstanding alumni association. We see this every year as we reconnect hundreds of Old Boys with each other and their College. Furthermore, we tell the stories of generations of men who have changed the world since 1893.
Institutions like ours cannot remain still, we must develop and advance while retaining a timeless focus on our core reason for existence. A Timeless Mission brings into relief the College motto — Utinam Patribus Nostris Digni Simus — by providing a comprehensive plan for us to operate the Old Boys’ Union in alignment with that central ambition.
A Timeless Mission provides the Old Boys’ Union with a clear pathway for continued improvement over the next three years. It articulates the ‘why’ and provides details of the tangible strategies we’re putting in place to help us achieve our vision and enrich the lives of Scots Old Boys.
I commend it to you.
By 2020, the Old Boys’ Union will be a multi-dimensional community that sustains an outstanding, relevant and valued connection for life between our members, their College and a world of opportunities.
The Scots College Old Boys’ Union was originally formed in 1899 by resolution of the College’s founder, Rev Arthur Ashworth Aspinall, and Old Boys who, according to a mid-twentieth century account of the meeting, saw ‘‘advantages to be derived from preserving the association of school life’.
It was with this aspiration that Old Boys who supported the bestowing of the Honour Cap, an award that predates the Old Boys’ Union, built an association that could grow and mature with a central connection to the values of the College.
In 2017 — we reaffirm our aspiration to preserve the timeless advantage of continued association and we give thanks for the foundational stone laid by our founders’ who sought to build a connection for life capable of standing the test of time.
...advantages to be derived from preserving the association of school life
In seeking to be worthy of our forefathers, The Scots College Old Boys’ Union exists to be a lifelong source of connection, care and camaraderie in the hearts and minds of Scots Old Boys.
The Scots College Old Boys’ Union is a lifelong source of connection, care and camaraderie in the hearts and minds of Scots Old Boys. Old Boys are part of an outstanding, relevant and valued community that transforms and enriches their lives.
We are a living community that grows and develops in line with a timeless mission centred squarely on our Old Boys.
We seek to grow a community that cares, connects and celebrates excellence by implementing programs that benefit the lives of Old Boys.
We will make a lifelong and generational impact in the lives of Scots Old Boys by being:
- A community that cares: fostering a spirit of care for individuals, families and friends.
- A community that connects: connecting Old Boys with each other, building community relationships that optimise opportunity, encourage generosity and sustain lifelong friendships.
- A community of camaraderie: engaging across the College community to strengthen our connection to the past and the future.
George Shannon (’15) and father Christopher Shannon (’84) at the 2015 Handover Ceremony.
A Community That Cares
Care will be a recurring theme common to all programs and activities of the Old Boys’ Union. One of the greatest challenges for community based organisations, like ours, in this digital age, is having a plan to combat the loneliness of modern life. The feeling of being alone in the crowd, overwhelmed by socio-financial pressures and confounded by the loss of consistent normative standards fuels detachment.
As places of communal gathering breakdown, the Old Boys’ Union has a plan to sustain a consistent and lifelong connection for life in the hearts and minds of Scots Old Boys. By fostering a spirit of care for individuals, families and friends within the Old Boys’ Union we will enrich the lives of our Old Boys.
Specifically, our focus will be fostering a spirit of care in our community that enhances collective mental and familial health while building support networks that increases access to education.
Our Strategic Objectives
We will foster this spirit of care for individuals, families and friends within the community of the Old Boys’ Union by:
- Engaging with leading practitioners and thinkers on men’s and family mental health, working with them to implement programs that ensure no Old Boy is without care and compassion in his life
- Providing spaces to discuss and consider mental health issues within a context specific to the needs of men and families
- Deepening ties with the College chaplaincy to enrich the spiritual lives of Old Boys and provide them with avenues to access supportive networks in a familiar environment
Access to education
- Building a corpus of funds to support ongoing enrolments for sons of Old Boys in financial need
- Establishing Advancement Grants that support and nurture Young Old Boys as they begin their professional lives.
Support networks and structure
- Establishing young Old Boy centric mentoring programs to correct for the impersonal nature of post-secondary life
- Launching new programs for older Old Boys that provides them with a friendly, regular voice to ensure their continued wellbeing
- Establishing a program of guest speakers that nurture the development of personal skill
A Community that Connects
Connecting Old Boys with each other, the College and a world of opportunity will transcend individual programs and become a core aspiration for the Old Boys’ Union. We are an organisation that is fundamentally based on building connections between people and we know that the might of our community can be utilised to serve the common good.
Through developing a framework for advancing the interests of Old Boys and building the capacity to support excellence we will connect our community with a world of opportunity. Specifically, we will bring together our mentoring and networking programs; delivering long-lasting professional and personal value while further enhancing the connection capacity of our clubs, societies and activities.
Our Strategic Objectives
We will build community relationships that optimise opportunity, foster a spirit of generosity and sustain lifelong friendships by:
- Creating mentoring programs that are insightful, meaningful and deliver new insights both to the mentored and mentor
- Attracting inspirational leaders from the Old Boy community to be leaders of our mentoring program and role models to our younger Old Boys
- Hosting several networking events and opportunities throughout the year to provide professional development opportunities for Old Boys
- Creating and maintaining a vibrant employment search service for employers that provides opportunities to recruit talented Old Boys
Clubs, Societies and Activities
- Developing a framework for clubs, societies and activities of all sizes to thrive within
- Resourcing clubs, societies and activities to recruit new members with the aim of building cross-age relationships
- Deepening partnerships with College leaders to build pathways for young Old Boys into Old Boys’ Union clubs, societies and activities
- Supporting and encouraging the hosting of class reunions at five year intervals
- Organising a yearly program of events that are attractive to a diverse range of people in our community
- Increasing the sustainability and accessibility of events by keeping costs down and encouraging regional, national and global engagement
- Committing to a comprehensive and sustained reunions program
Our branding and communications
- Implementing new strategies to enhance engagement with Old Boys’ Union communications
- Increasing our profile within the College community by leveraging diverse digital projects to promote and sustain engagement with our strategic priorities
- Using a variety of mediums to engage with Old Boys and curating new articles, photographs and historical materials for publication in The Lion & Lang Syne
- Balancing the need for community engagement with the desire for communications consolidation
Our leadership and governance
- Providing sound governance from the Old Boys’ Union Committee that emphasises wise financial stewardship
- Increasing cross-generational representation on the Old Boys’ Union Committee
- Establishing effective succession planning mechanisms that reduce the risk of institutional knowledge loss
- Growing the corpus of funds held by the Old Boys’ Union to provide for continued operations
- Increasing governance controls and policies that prevent mismanagement
A Community of Camaraderie
We will enhance our collective sense of camaraderie by going beyond shared interest, leveraging history to cultivate institutional belonging through celebrating excellence and elevating expressivity. The innate desire of people to belong to something greater than themselves is catered for by the existence of the College community; a powerful civic body fuelled by excellence, creativity and history.
By placing Old Boys at the heart of this powerful cultural force we will build a community that celebrates excellence through camaraderie and institutional belonging. Specifically, we will invest in honouring the past knowing that it strengthens the future while cultivating national and international connections with the broader College community.
Our Strategic Objectives
We will engage across the College community, to strengthen our connection to the past and the future, by:
- Deepening partnerships with the College that are conducive to promoting our shared heritage and tradition
- Supporting projects that acquire historical artefacts and share living histories
- Providing an avenue for the College community to engage with its graduates from a friendly base
- Integrating our activities across the College community, and wherever possible, partnering with parents, students and staff to deliver high impact cultural activities
- By building strong relationships with the Principal, the College Council and other governance stakeholders
- Building a culture of generational attendance that both incentivises new families to enrol their sons at The Scots College and drives Old Boys to select Scots as their school of first choice for their son
Our nation and world
- Supporting the Residential Community at Scots through events and activities that drive boarding as a continuing cultural influence
- Developing programs and events that run in conjunction with international partners
- Seeking out Old Boys who have become estranged from the Old Boys’ Union and encouraging them to join in the modern, cosmopolitan activities of the contemporary Old Boys' Union
- Operating an alumni reconnection service that protects members’ privacy while enhancing their ability to reconnect with friends and classmates