Office of the Principal, January 17, 2011

The Road - Alumnae Newsletter
Dear Alumna,

Happy New Year! Here at Branksome Hall, we have much to look forward to as 2011 unfolds. I am delighted to take this opportunity to update you on the progress of key strategic initiatives that serve as cornerstones in our decision-making efforts.
Globally Minded Girls School
This key priority encompasses much of our daily life at the school. Students continue to enjoy visits and interaction with unique and highly accomplished women. Over the years, many talented alumnae have returned to Branksome as guest speakers in the classroom, at Installation, at Reunion and at assemblies.
In recent months, we have also welcomed renowned director and screenwriter Deepa Mehta and her daughter, writer Devyani Saltzman, and Canada's first female astronaut, Roberta Bondar.
Last August, I was delighted to share the exciting news of the establishment of Branksome Hall Asia. This initiative continues to progress under the leadership of Branksome Hall Asia Managing Director Peter Kenny, who has extensive experience in constructing and establishing IB World Schools. The current project timeline has Branksome Hall Asia scheduled to open on Jeju Island, South Korea, in September 2012. Should we require additional time, a September 2013 opening may be negotiated.
Once fully established, Branksome Hall Asia will benefit our girls in Toronto through new student exchanges, residential trips, summer programs and shared online courses. In addition, Branksome Hall Asia provides us with significant annual revenue, which we are currently directing towards the future capital enhancements of our Toronto campus. All costs related to the construction and establishment of Branksome Hall Asia are being covered by the South Korean government. For more details, I invite you to visit
Facilities of the Future
A key aspect of our Strategic Plan envisages improvements to our facilities, so that we may better serve the needs of our girls in terms of athletics, academics and student life. In essence, we wish to see our facilities match the high calibre of our employees and our programs.
In 2010, our Board of Governors approved a new Site Master Plan, which encompasses a vision for campus-wide re-development. On the west campus, we plan to establish International House, which will include space for academic and social programs as well as housing for all students in our Residence Program. Future plans also include a new Athletics and Wellness Centre, including a double gym, field house, swimming pool, and fitness/yoga studio. The building will also house a new dining hall and cafeteria.
I can assure you that we are committed to protecting and restoring our heritage buildings and to ensuring that new facilities are environmentally sustainable. As you can imagine, extensive plans require approval from City Hall, and we expect to have feedback from city officials by the spring. I look forward to keeping you apprised of our progress on this significant campus re-development project.
Financial Sustainability
As we strive to bring the new Site Master Plan to reality, we are excited to be in the planning stages of the largest capital campaign in the school's history. I am delighted that two long-time Branksome supporters, Mary LESSLIE Hallward'74 and former Board Chair James Christie, have agreed to serve as Co-Chairs of Branksome Becomes, as this upcoming capital campaign is so aptly named.
Our Co-Chairs kick-started Branksome Becomes with the largest family donations in the history of the school: a $500,000 gift from Mary and her husband, Graham Hallward; and a $1-million gift from Jim and his wife, the Hon. Sarah Pepall. We owe these committed individuals our gratitude for all that their generous gifts will achieve in building our funds and, importantly, in inspiring others to support Branksome Hall. They have raised the bar for our fundraising! It is our goal to strive for the same level of support and endowment that you'll find in schools south of the border, and in boys' schools closer to home. It is time to change the way we look at girls' schools and the way we support them.
I will be sharing more information with you about Branksome Becomes over the next few months.
Enhanced Communications
Last fall, you should have received the latest issue of The READ, chock-full of great alumnae profiles, events, school happenings and class notes. The package also included the Donor and Giving Report 2009-10, which honours our many supporters and outlines the impact of their generous gifts.
A recent new initiative was the launch of The Road. This e-newsletter, which you are reading now, provides a meaningful form of communication, reaching over 3,300 alumnae and keeping our largest constituency in touch with each other and their alma mater.
In closing, I wish to say what an honour and privilege it is to lead such a great school, made strong by its history and its continued commitment to the education of young women. Your continued support and involvement mean a great deal to me and to Branksome Hall.
My best wishes to you and yours for a healthy, happy and peaceful 2011.
Karen Murton