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ACG Founders’ Scholarship: helping students follow their dreams

The ACG Founders’ Scholarship was established in honour of all those who, together with Ms Dawn Jones CNZM and the late Sir John Graham KNZM, contributed to the creation of ACG Schools.

Trinity College, University of Cambridge

With a focus on providing students with a world-class academic education, well-known and highly respected educationalists Ms Jones and Sir John launched the first school in the ACG group, ACG Senior College in 1995.

In a fitting tribute to their vision, expertise, and dedication, the ACG Founders’ Scholarship was inaugurated in 2018. This prestigious award, valued at up to $75,000 over three years, highlights exceptional accomplishment across all areas of school life.

“While we want every student to do well, we should not be afraid to acknowledge and celebrate those who excel,” Ms Jones believes. And it is this sentiment which lies behind the establishment of the scholarship to recognise and foster academic excellence.

However, whilst a strong scholastic performance is a necessary requirement for the award, it is not sufficient on its own. For the ACG Founders’ Scholarship not only identifies outstanding academic ability, but considers personal qualities for future success as well, such as integrity, leadership, drive, and work ethic.

Although Ms Jones retired at the end of 2003, she remains a member of the ACG Education Trust Board and is also part of the selection committee for the ACG Founders’ Scholarship. She finds it incredibly rewarding to meet with applicants to discover their plans and aspirations.

“We are particularly interested to know what each applicant plans to study and, even more importantly, how each might apply this in the future. Hence, when interviewing applicants, we are interested to learn what they think about a range of issues, what values drive them and how they plan to achieve their future goals.

“In the three years since the award was introduced, we have interviewed some outstanding young people. It has been humbling to meet them and to have an opportunity to talk with them about their future goals and dreams. Most of all, it gives me great confidence they are young people who will make a difference!”

ACG Schools CEO Clarence van der Wel agrees, adding, “The ACG Founders’ Scholarship provides an opportunity for deserving students to live out their dreams. It allows them to explore programmes of study, or to attend acclaimed overseas universities that may not have been financially possible without this support.”

The ACG Founders’ Scholarship is open to any domestic ACG College student in New Zealand who plans to commence a course of university study the following year.