The gift from the former student will fund a new auditorium, music department and library as well as a new Indigenous scholarship.
In its 90th anniversary year, Canberra Grammar School (CGS) has received an exceptional gift from Terry Snow AM.
The gift of $20 million from the CGS Alumnus, philanthropist and entrepreneur is one of the largest endowments to a school in Australian history.
It follows Snow’s $8 million gift to CGS for The Snow Centre for Education in the Asian Century in 2014-2015, and it reflects his long-standing and deep commitment to the School, to education and to the creation of significant institutions for the nation’s capital.
The donation will fund CCG’s next stage of evolution: the construction of a new Auditorium, a Centre for Music and a Centre for Learning.
The new buildings, designed by Cox architects, will include a 1,400 seat auditorium, four music classrooms, up to 20 music tuition rooms, one music staff room and an approximately 450m2 library and independent learning space.
The gift also comes with a very significant commitment to the School’s new Indigenous scholarship and education programs, as well as to professional learning.
The Head of Canberra Grammar School, Dr Justin Garrick, said: “Supported by an extraordinary gift from Mr Terry Snow, this superb new complex will transform the face and the future of our School. It will place mature, independent and guided study, along with the artistic, spiritual and intellectual endeavour that is music, right at the forefront of our educational experience. It is the continuation and fulfilment of our School’s fundamental holistic tradition.”
The Auditorium and Centre for Music will also become an vital part of Canberra’s community. Schools visiting Canberra will be able to use the Centre for Music for performances. External groups, choirs, and musical groups will also be able to hire the venue.
Snow attended Canberra Grammar School from 1953 to 1961. In his time at the School, he was distinguished as an athlete and was a house prefect in his final year. He has remained an active member of the CGS community throughout his life. His brother, his children and grandchildren have attended the School. He is a former President of the School’s Old Boys Union (CGS Alumni) and was a member of the School Board from 1978 to 1986. He is also Patron of the CGS Foundation.
“I think Canberra stands for excellence. Anything I’m associated with, I try and commit to doing as good a job as I possibly can, and I would like to see this school be the highwater mark for independent education in Australia,” said Snow.
“I went to this school. I enjoyed my life at this school. Even so, there weren’t the opportunities then that kids have today. Together with the school, we’re giving them the tools to excel in those things they would not normally have the opportunity of doing.”
Snow, who co-founded the Snow Foundation with his brother George in 1991, encourages others to embrace philanthropy at any scale.
“I have enough to live on, and my family have enough to live on. I think it is important then that we look around and support the things we can in perpetuity. Philanthropy is a wonderful opportunity for people to use their resources to make lasting, positive change,” he said.
“Targeted philanthropy can be a very powerful thing, and I encourage everyone to do it. If they think about how they do it and go about it, it will get big dividends.”
The CGS Centre for Music and Terry Snow Auditorium will begin construction in late 2019, and continue through 2020, with the opening planned for 2021.
Canberra Grammar School is a co-educational independent Anglican school that welcomes students of all backgrounds, cultures and faiths.