Welcome from Your President
Lord David Freud OW (1961-68) moved to Selsdon in 1957 and came to Whitgift in 1962, where he followed an arts orientation. After a year travelling, he went to Merton College, Oxford, where he read Philosophy, Politics and Economics.
His first career was as a journalist, training in Cardiff on the Western Mail and then moving to the Financial Times, where he spent his last four years writing the Lex Column.
In 1984, he began his second career, in the City, where he specialised in equity markets, IPOs and transport. His most dramatic deal was the flotation of Eurotunnel in the teeth of Black Monday. He ended up as Vice Chairman at UBS before retiring in 2003. Afterwards he wrote a book on the experience called ‘Freud in the City’.
A spectacular failure as a retiree, he took up a job as CEO of the Portland Trust, which worked on both sides of the Israel / Palestine divide. He also produced a report for the Labour Government on welfare to work in 2007, called “Reducing Dependency, Increasing Opportunity”. This led to a job as Conservative Minister for Welfare Reform (2010-16), where he worked to reshape the British welfare system. In particular, he was involved in creating and shaping Universal Credit, to break the poverty and welfare traps.
David was elected President of the WA at the Association’s Annual General Meeting in December 2017. In response he said: “We all know the wonderful work Whitgift does, providing boys with great opportunities and often changing lives. The job of the WA is to support this whenever and wherever we can and, where possible, enhance the experience that boys enjoy at our remarkable School. I am honoured to be elected your President and look forward tremendously to the year ahead.”
Welcome to the Whitgiftian Association
This website offers Old Whitgiftians easy access to all that the Association has to offer, together with the opportunity to book and pay for events, theatre tickets, merchandise, reunions and dinners online. It is more immediate and interactive than anything we have had in the past and will help you keep in touch with an increased programme of activities, as well as acting as a conduit for an expanding network of WA societies and special interest groups throughout the UK and beyond.
Our office at Haling Park is situated near South Entrance with direct access from the terrace. All WA members are welcome to visit by appointment – just call the office on 020 8633 9926. Whether you want to update your membership status, enquire about our calendar of events, make a donation or simply track down an old school friend, our staff will be pleased to help you. If you haven’t visited the School for some time, a tour of Whitgift as it is today can usually be arranged with prior notice.
The WA is a member-focussed Association where we aim to cater for the many and varied interests of Old Whitgiftians. We are benefitting from a new, regularly updated membership database, which gives us the opportunity to store more accurate and current details about our alumni. With the help of Bill Wood, the School’s archivist, we have an impressive amount of information about Old Whitgiftians, their lives and activities.
Much of what we do is achieved through a close interface with the School, particularly 6th formers and leavers, as new generations of OWs become more immediately part of the Whitgift family. Boys moving into the Sixth Form automatically become members of the WA and thus benefit from all it has to offer whilst still at school – including our new, more sharply focussed mentoring and careers groups, comprising OWs from many different walks of life.
We are always keen to establish new interest groups within the OW community. So, whether you want to meet old friends of your own age, get together with fellow OWs in your part of the world, or find other OWs who share your interests and hobbies, we would like to hear from you. As you progress through this website I am sure you will see what we have in mind.
Of course, we need volunteers to help with all this, as well as your ideas about the activities and interests you would like to see included. Do let me know your thoughts. I would be delighted to hear from you.
In the meantime, if you are an Old Whitgiftian and you haven’t yet joined the Whitgiftian Association please do so now. You will find membership details and an application form under the Join Us section.
I am greatly privileged to be President of the Whitgiftian Association this year and I look forward to meeting up with you at the earliest opportunity.