Alumni News

Have Your Say On The Shape Of Old Princethorpians To Come

With the recent launch of the Foundation Strategic Plan (see Foundation News) the OPs Committee have decided to review their constitution through the same approach of focusing on key 'pillars' or areas of activity.

To that end instead of the usual Committee Meeting in the Trinity Term, there will be an extraordinary meeting in the form of an interactive workshop. This will involve a larger number of OPs, including we hope representatives from across the generations and from each of the Foundation's heritage schools.

Attendees will be encouraged to comment on existing activities and generate new ideas so we can formulate pillars which reflect what the community wants from the association going forward.

The meeting will take place in April at the College and a buffet supper will be provided.

If you would be interested in attending please email Melanie Butler, OPs' Secretary at or call her on 01926 634284 by Tuesday 16 April .

An Evening With Marc Marot

An Evening with OP Marc Marot took place on Friday 13 October and gave the Princethorpe community a fascinating insight into life in the fast-moving global music industry from the late 80s through to the 2000s and beyond. 

Old Princethorpian Marc Marot, who left the College in 1977, took his audience on a rollercoaster ride of the highs and lows of his self-professed ‘chaotic’ and ‘serendipitous’ career. His talk charted his journey from leaving school with dreams of becoming a rockstar and working at a record store, to managing iconic bands and performers, such as the Cranberries, Stereo MCs, Pulp and U2 and running global record labels and talent management companies including Polygram and Crown Talent Management. 

Mentored by music industry legend, Chris Blackwell, Mark’s career started in music publishing at Eaton Music, he swiftly progressed to become the youngest managing director of Island Records at just 30 years old. His talk was interspersed with snippets of recordings from an eclectic range of hits from artists Massive Attack to De La Soul and The Verve to Elbow, much to the audience’s delight. 

Marc also spoke affectionately of his time at Princethorpe, the lifelong friends he made and is still in close contact with today, several of which were in the audience, and of the burgeoning of his music career playing his cello in the school orchestra. 

His career branched out into film and TV production, and he was one of the first embracers of the power of the world wide web. Having worked closely with U2 developing their award-winning website, Marc also spoke with great admiration for the band’s lead singer Bono and his charitable work, particularly the Jubilee 2000 campaign aimed at cancelling Third World debt. 

Marc spoke of the need for drive and dogged determination when pursuing your dreams and seeking out opportunities. He recognised that being fearless had been an important factor in his success. He has prided himself on discovering new and original talent over his career but admitted that the music industry is now a much different place, with social media playing a huge part in the success of artists. 

In latter years Mark has branched out into the art field with a collaboration with Scarlett Raven with augmented reality digital art based on the 100-year anniversary of The Battle of the Somme. 

The evening rounded off with a lively Q & A from the audience, with many questions from young Princethorpians with a desire to enter the industry and time for more questions over a buffet supper in the Sixth Form Centre. 

We thank Marc for so generously giving of his time and for sharing his amazing career with us. 

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Christmas Came Early For OP Steve Dade

Christmas came early for OP, Steve Dade (1986 -1990), who was the lucky recipient of this year's Princethorpe Connect Christmas Hamper Prize Draw.

Steve who lives in Coventry, with his wife of 23 years, Becky, and teenage daughter, Charly, works in behaviour management at Evergreen School in Warwick, a 4-19 school for children and young people with Special Educational Needs.

Steve received his prize from OPs Secretary, Melanie Butler, who hand delivered it to his home in Coventry.

Commented Steve, “I was delighted to hear of my win, it was lovely to share with the family over Christmas!”

Steve is still great friends with fellow OP, Richard Williams. Remembering his time at Princethorpe, Steve commented “I have some great memories from my time at Princethorpe, I was in More House and my form tutors were Paul Adams, Frank McGreevy and John Miller. I have particularly fond memories of playing for the school Rugby team as we were very good!”

Thanks to all those who engaged with Princethorpe Connect in the run up to the prize draw, we now have over 1,500 online members and look forward to building on this in 2024!

Crescent Welcomes Daughter Of Founder Back To School

Crescent School warmly welcomed former pupil and teacher, Felicity Furber, and former governor, Mark Furber, back to school on Tuesday 16 January to help celebrate Founder’s Day. The school was marking its 76th birthday and also the publication of its updated A History Of Crescent School.

Mr and Mrs Furber took part in a Founder’s Day Assembly, then answered questions posed by the School Council before enjoying a tour of the school.

During the assembly, six Year 6 pupils shared extracts from the school’s early history. Dressed in original school uniform, they spoke about the experiences of the early pupils when the school was situated in Rugby town centre, on Horton Crescent adjacent to Rugby School.

Mrs Furber is the daughter of the school’s first headmistress, Mrs Eve Mortimer, and has a long and close association with Crescent School. Mr and Mrs Furber were delighted to be able to share new information and anecdotes about the school’s early years, bringing the Founder’s Day celebrations vividly to life for pupils.

During the visit, Crescent School discovered that Mr Furber has his own strong connection to the school’s current Bawnmore Road site. Mr Furber was one of the first pupils to attend the former, St Mark’s School when it opened on the Bilton site back in 1950, prior to its acquisition in 1988 by Crescent School.

Headmaster, Joe Thackway, said: “We were delighted to welcome Mr and Mrs Furber into school. The children had so many questions for them, and it really helped them understand what the school was like in its early years and to appreciate that while many aspects of the school have changed, there is much that remains the same.”

Mrs Furber commented, "It meant a lot to me to see how the school is thriving in every way.”

Copies of the second edition of A History of Crescent School have been shared with parents and contributors and a digital version is available to download for free on the school website here: Printed copies are also freely available for all Old Crescentians and local residents. They can be requested here: (there is a small £2 charge to cover UK postage).

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A History Of Crescent 75th Anniversary Edition

In 2023, the Foundation marked the 75th anniversary of Crescent School’s inception back in the post war world of 1948. The school celebrated in different ways over the year, with the highlight being a School Fair in the summer term that included an open day for Old Crescentians.

As part of these celebrations, Crescent also published a much-updated version of the school history. The new version builds on the first edition and brings the story up to the present day.

It rightly celebrates all that is good about Crescent School, including its heritage of achievement in sport, music, the performing arts and of course academic results and pastoral care. It also recognises former and longstanding staff who have played an important part in the school’s success.

Copies of the second edition of A History of Crescent School have been shared with parents and contributors and a digital version is available to download for free on the school website here: Printed copies are also freely available for all Old Crescentians and local residents. They can be requested here: (there is a small £2 charge to cover UK postage).

College Prize Giving Celebrates Pupils’ Exceptional Achievements

Another exceptional year of achievement, progress, creativity and contribution was celebrated at Princethorpe College’s annual Prize Giving Ceremony at the Butterworth Hall, at Warwick University’s Arts Centre on Friday 24 November.

Before the ceremony, the Old Princethorpians Committee hosted a special Drinks Reception for the returning Class of 2023 and their parents, providing a welcome opportunity for last year’s cohort to get together and catch up.

Chair of Trustees, Mrs Liz Griffin, opened the proceedings, warmly welcoming parents, friends of the College and Princethorpians old and new to the occasion and then Father Alan Whelan MSC then led the assembled community in an opening prayer.

In his formal address, the Headmaster, Grove du Toit, gave thanks to all those who make Princethorpe the special place it is. He reflected on all that has happened this last year and encouraged us to celebrate and appreciate the journey of our pupils. He reminded pupils that they are, and always will be, a part of the Old Princethorpian family and encouraged them to stay in touch.

All evening the atmosphere was joyful and celebratory and there were superb musical interludes from the school String Orchestra, Concert Band and the Year 7 Chorus, whose performance of Shine and This Is Me were both enthusiastic and uplifting.

Then it was time for the presentation of the awards. Listening to the citations was truly inspiring and humbling. The talent in evidence, the grit and determination, the passion, enthusiasm and commitment were all applauded and honoured.

Finally, we came to the main award, the Princethorpe Shield, the oldest and most prestigious College award presented annually to the student who is seen to embody the spirit and ethos of the College in many facets of their school life. It was a very popular decision this year, with the audience cheering a delighted and surprised Grace Thomas who was thrilled to receive the Shield.

Foundation Principal, Ed Hester then spoke echoing Mr du Toit’s congratulations, before the current Heads of School, Natalya Elden and Izzy Wright, gave an eloquent vote of thanks.

The evening came to a close with the singing of the College Hymn, Here I Am Lord.

The full list of Prize Winners can be found in the Prize Giving Programme here.

Emails with links to the photo galleries were sent to the Class of 2023 and the Prize Winners, however, you can also access the photos below by clicking on the relevant links. 

Leavers of 2023
Click on the relevant links below to view the three galleries of photographs:

(NB you will need to login to view the galleries. Please note there are several pages of photos within the galleries to click through. If you are not currently a member of Princethorpe Connect, please click here to join.)

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Princethorpe Pupils Awarded Top Honours In ISA Regional Art Competition

Three Princethorpe pupils were awarded top honours in the Regional ISA Art Competition, a testament to the depth and range of talent in Princethorpe's Art and Photography Department.

Recent Upper Sixth leaver, OP Ruby Harris placed first in the Painting Over 16 class. Ruby’s winning portrait, titled Fast Food, was part of her coursework for her A-level Art examination, it is a superb, striking, lifelike image and a well-deserving winner.

Her classmate, OP Ava Jones’s compendium of drawings took first place in the very competitive Over 16 Sketchbook class. Exploring themes about Obsessive, Compulsive, Orderliness and Perfection disorder her sketchbook submission showcased her preparations for her final piece that was also of an incredibly high standard.

Lower Sixth Former, Amaanya Bose took first prize in the Drawing U16 class. Her pencil piece receiving recognition, People and Places, was also part of her coursework for her GCSE Art examination.

Recent leaver, OP Amber Williams just missed out with her stunning images, also on the theme of Fast Food, taking a well-deserved second place in the Photography Over 16 class.

Paul Hubball, Head of Art and Photography, commented, “Many congratulations to all of our winners, they are worthy recipients of this year’s awards. Their entries were exceptional and the product of many hours of work. It is marvellous to see their talent rewarded in this way.”

A huge well done to them all!

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Princethorpe Connect Membership Reaches 1500

A huge thank you to all our Princethorpe Connect members. As we started the new year, we were delighted to share the news that we have now reached 1,500 members. It is great to have you all in the Princethorpe Foundation alumni family.

The Foundation is keen to engage with all former pupils, parents and staff and is delighted to be building a thriving alumni community. Princethorpe Connect offers all our alumni a one stop shop for alumni news and events, the ability to reach out to old friends and former colleagues across the Foundation schools, to opportunity to link up with mentors, as well as hosting our online shop.

Please do encourage all those you know to register on Princethorpe Connect. They can do this easily themselves by going online to


OP Tom Tombleson Returned To His Former School

Strength and conditioning coach, and Old Princethorpian, Tom Tombleson, returned to his old school, Princethorpe College, on Monday 18 December.

Tom left the College back in 2001 and after studying Sport Science and Management at Loughborough University pursued a career advising and coaching professional sports players. He played Rugby at a high level including representing England in Rugby Sevens. He has worked with a number of international rugby players and is currently the strength and conditioning coach for the England Rugby national team.

As well as enjoying a tour of his old school, Tom spoke to talented sports players from Years 8 to the Sixth Form, talking about the fitness and endurance required to successfully compete. He answered pupils’ questions with generosity and candour helping them to understand the preparation, practise, determination and resilience required to be successful in their chosen sport.

Our thanks go to Tom for taking time out of his busy schedule to visit the College and for generously sharing his expertise with pupils and staff. We were delighted to welcome him back to school and hope he enjoyed revisiting his old haunts. We are always grateful for the support of our Old Princethorpian community, they are such great role models for our current pupils, inspiring and encouraging them to follow their dreams.

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OPs Are Now On Instagram

The Old Princethorpians have had an active Facebook page for many years and it has a proved a useful tool for helping our alumni stay in touch with each other and their former school.

Recognising that our younger OPs use other social media, back in the Michaelmas Term we launched an @oldprincethorpians Instagram account.

The College also has an active Linked In page, do please connect with us to stay in touch.


Alumni Merchandise - Gifts For Everyone

Stuck for a gift idea for the OPs in your life? Look no further as items from our alumni range of merchandise make the perfect present for birthdays, anniversaries or even just for yourself!

Our new Zaini hats and headbands are now back in stock and we still have a few copies of our 2024 calendars. 

Other popular items include:

  • Socks with the distinctive Tower design on dark blue background with thin diagonal stripe - priced £9.00 + postage
  • A university style scarf (in 100% wool with navy blue, red and gold stripes) - priced  £31 + postage
  • T-bar cufflinks with a gold Tower design - priced £26 + postage
  • The Old Princethorpian tie. A classic 100% silk tie with a repetitive gold Tower design and thin red diagonal stripes on a dark blue background - priced £19 + postage and packing.
  • Tower pin badge. The 2cm high badge in nickel with recessed metal detail is based on the Tower logo - priced £11 + postage
  • A Spirit Of Family: The First Fifty Years Of Princethorpe College - produced to mark the College's Golden Jubilee this beautiful keepsake is a relflection on the first fifty years of Princethorpe College written by Nick Baker and Alex Darkes, published on 1 September 2016 - now reduced to £10 + postage.
  • The Soaring Redbrick Tower Fine Art prints and cards sized at A2 for £40, A3 for £25 and as an A5 greetings card for £3. 
  • St. Joseph's Convent and School Fine Art print for £12.

Stocks are available to order online from Princethorpe Connect, please click here.


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