College – Issue 31

DEVELOPMENT OFFICE A special philanthropic story

In 2015, the Development Office received a surprise communication. One of our more recent Old Boys had decided to make a significant gift to his old school, based on what had happened to him in his time at College, and how that had influenced his business success and personal life.

Recognising this, the Headmaster at the time, Simon Leese, offered him a non-repayable grant to develop his entrepreneurial skills by way of a start-up project that used his talents to their best advantage. He did. Roll on 10 years to 2015 and Walker now owns a hugely successful custom T shirt business called Teespring. As a result he wishes to recognise the Headmaster’s grant that was his catalyst by giving other boys a similar opportunity. When that gift arrived, College staff thought about how the funds could be used in a way that recognised Walker’s entrepreneurial style. So in 2016, Christ’s College is using some of the gifted funds to partner with Singularity University of the United States to host three major Innovation and Design Thinking Workshop events in Auckland, Wellington and

Christchurch. The workshops are for secondary school aged scholars and students from around New Zealand. They will get the opportunity to hear some of the world’s top speakers and experts talk about exponentially accelerating technologies, with New Zealand’s and Australia’s leaders of today and tomorrow, giving them the knowledge and insight they need to compete — and win — in today’s changing world. So what an outcome! The Christ’s College Old Boy, risk-taker, graphic artist, energetic and hard- working student entrepreneur of yesterday, partnering with his old College and its students of today to encourage the budding New Zealand entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

As a result, a significant sum of money arrived from the United States to be used to give some other Christ’s College boy/s the opportunity that he had been given. As a pupil at College, Walker Williams did not always fit into all the usual moulds, but he had a spirit that suggested an inquiring mind and a sense of entrepreneurial flair.

We can only say “Thank you Walker”.

New staff member

Earlier in 2016, the Development office welcomed Erica Klassen to the team as Development Assistant and data base manager. Canadian by birth and now here in New Zealand with her British-born partner James, Erica brings a background in finance and marketing to the role. Erica was happy to quit the corporate world when she relocated to Christchurch. When she is not juggling databases and thinking about fundraising, Erica enjoys hiking and getting out of the city to explore. She is also a keen runner and completed the Wellington half marathon at the end of June.


College Issue 31 2016

Made with FlippingBook Ebook Creator