The Foundation and our Alumnae Community

Founded in September 2010, the Downe House Foundation encourages lifelong connections between alumnae, the current School community and past parents and staff. This connection can take the form of networking opportunities, social events and active involvement in the future development of Downe House. Every alumna is invited to become part of this mutually beneficial and rewarding community.

The Foundation Office exists to link past and present members of the Downe House community through effective communication, a varied programme of events, the acknowledgement of achievements, collaborative planning and active fundraising. By promoting an atmosphere where all community members benefit from initiatives that are designed to be informative, enjoyable, valuable and inspirational, we embrace the principles of our founder, Olive Willis.

The Foundation Office includes our impressive DH LINKS initiative – a global alumnae and parent network that provides invaluable careers-based knowledge, guidance and practical support to give girls a headstart and a guiding hand on their journey beyond Downe House. The support and involvement from our alumnae community is a source of great pride for the School. Whether it’s visiting to give talks and workshops that give our girls an insight into career pathways, jobs and business ventures, joining or hosting one of our professional networking groups, or facilitating work shadowing or internships.

We are incredibly proud of all our alumnae, many of whom have been be recognised with the highest accolades for achievements within their areas of expertise, including:

  • Margaret Aston CBE (Historian and Academic. Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the British Academy)
  • Coral Au (Associate Consultant Psychiatrist at United Christian Hospital, Hong Kong)
  • Clare Balding OBE (Broadcaster, journalist and author)
  • Mary Bonsor (Lawyer. CEO and Co-Founder of Flex Legal Ltd)
  • Sophie Conran (Designer, retailer, cook and author)
  • Miranda Hart (Actress, comedian and writer)
  • Georgina Hilton (VP/Director, Head of Classic Art, Asia Pacific at Christie’s)
  • Geraldine James OBE (Film and television actress)
  • Eleanor Janet Macnair OBE (Scientist and Senior Fellow of the Institute of Engergy)
  • Dame Helen Muir CBE (Biochemist, Fellow of the Royal Society)
  • Dame Rosemary Murray DBE (Chemist and educator. The first female Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge after whom Murray Edwards College is named)
  • Temi Ogunsanya (Africa Corridor Director, Santander UK)
  • Catherine Powell (Former President Disney Parks , Airbnb’s Global Head of Hosting)
  • Rachel Skinner CBE (Engineer and the youngest President of the Institute of Civil Engineers)
  • Audrey Richards CBE (Anthropologist, Director of the African Studies Centre at University of Cambridge. First woman President of the Royal Anthropological Institute)
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