A number of years ago the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation launched an initiative to increase the pool of applicants for the Allan Gray Fellowship. We believed that by creating a network of feeder high schools we would enhance not just the number of applications we received but the quality of the applicants as well. By partnering with a number of schools we aimed to grow their exposure to entrepreneurial thinking and practices and promote the inclusion of such principles and practices in their school curricula, thus promoting our mandate of entrepreneurial progress in Southern Africa.
The Circle of Excellence (COE) initiative connected the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation with 100 schools for the first time in 2008. Schools are selected based on the number of Candidate Allan Gray Fellows they supplied the previous year. In other words, applicants from these schools would have been invited to a selection camp or accepted into the Allan Gray Fellowship. Among the 100 schools selected this year 11 are new and three are returning COE members. Riebeek College and Southdowns College joined us for the first time in 2012, while Northcliff High School was a COE member for three years running, from 2008 to 2011. The complete list of COE members appears below.
Each year the principals of each COE school is invited to attend the Circle of Excellence Principals’ Conference where they have the opportunity to engage and network with like-minded individuals. The 2014 edition of this conference will be held in Grahamstown in September and will be co-hosted by the Allan Gray Centre for Leadership Ethics at Rhodes University.
As with previous years, attendees of this year’s conference are expected to return to their schools with renewed inspiration, focus and entrepreneurial fervour. Hereby the full list of the 2014 COE schools.