8 May 2019
Following a fundraising appeal which raised £6.5million from the Downe House community, the Murray Centre has been the most significant new building project that Downe House has undertaken in its history. Its rationale is based on the aim that it will touch and transform every girl’s education through the provision of a state-of-the-art auditorium, a contemporary library, new teaching and learning spaces, a Coffee Shop and social areas to bring the school community together.
Guests were given a guided tour around the new building and enjoyed a celebratory lunch before attending an interactive session, ‘A Glimpse into the Future’ in the new 250-seat China Auditorium. The panel of guest speakers included leading technology journalist and presenter, Zoe Kleinman, the Vice President of Marketing Cloud, Salesforce EMEA, Helen Kelisky and Steph Martin representing Microsoft. These experts shared their thoughts and answered many questions from the audience on how technology may impact, influence and shape the future for young people.
Headmistress, Mrs Emma McKendrick said, “It has been super to see the way in which the girls have embraced this wonderful new building. The successful completion of this project reflects the culmination of months of hard work from a wide range of people as well as generous support by many. All are owed a debt of gratitude and I would like to thank all our donors, who have allowed us to turn this dream into a reality. Special thanks must also go to Alasdair Heath, Director of Estates, Michelle Scott, Assistant Head (Foundation), and Philippa Toogood, Director of the Murray Centre, for their unwavering commitment to ensuring such an excellent outcome, as well as to the girls whose ideas and input were invaluable.”
The Murray Centre is a strategic development which forms part of Downe House School’s Ten Year Vision plan to ensure that the School moves forward and remains at the forefront of boarding education. It has been named in honour of alumna, Dame Rosemary Murray who attended Downe House School from 1927 to 1931. Rosemary went on to read Chemistry at Oxford University and followed a distinguished academic career, becoming the first woman Vice-Chancellor in Cambridge University’s 765-year history.
To celebrate the completion of the Murray Centre, the Downe House community came together for the official opening and unveiling of a plaque by members of the Murray family. Current and past parents, alumnae, donors, governors, staff and girls came together to mark this significant milestone in the School’s history.