Ashbury College – 1891 Day

Honour our history. Invest in our future. Give today!

On Friday, November 20, Ashbury will establish a new tradition: 1891 Day, our inaugural day of giving dedicated to raising funds for needs-based financial assistance. Currently, one-in-ten Ashbury students receives financial assistance, at a minimum of 50% of tuition fees. This is a time like no other, and the need for support has increased. Our goal is to raise funds equivalent to a one-year bursary, that will support deserving students with demonstrated financial need. Gifts at all levels are gratefully received and eligible for a tax receipt according to CRA guidelines or FRISBE guidelines, for U.S. donors.

Join the Ashbury community on November 20 for this 24-hour campaign!


Give online

Call 613-749-9630 x 299 with a credit card

Mail a cheque, payable to:

The Ashbury College Foundation
362 Mariposa Avenue
Ottawa, ON K1M 0T3

(write 1891 Day in the memo to be counted in the final totals).

Giving FAQs

Already a donor?

If you have already given this year, thank you for your support! The need for student financial assistance has increased, and we encourage you to consider another nominal gift on 1891 Day. Gifts at all levels are gratefully received and your additional gift will inspire others to give as well.

Where does my gift go?

Every gift made on 1891 Day goes toward student financial assistance with the goal to raise the funds needed for a one-year bursary supporting a deserving student with demonstrated financial need.  However, should you wish to designate your support to a different school initiative (e.g. The Bob Gray Fund, your class fund) the donor may choose the allocation.

How else can I help on 1891 Day?

Spread the word: tell your fellow Ashburians, family and classmates that you’ve made a gift and encourage them to give as well!  Watch and engage with social media on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and Ashbury Connect. Be sure to use #1891Day when posting.

Contact the Advancement Department to learn more about getting involved at

1891 Day Honours

Countless numbers of people have contributed to the evolution of Ashbury College from its humble beginnings in a single room in the Victorian Chambers fronting on Wellington Street in 1891. One hundred and twenty-nine years later, Ashbury is a school of more than 700 students, boys and girls, Grades 4–12, with more than 60 different nationalities represented among them. These profiles are a small sampling of individuals who have shown remarkable dedication and commitment to Ashbury College.

G.P. Woollcombe was born in 1867 in Buckinghamshire, England, the son of an Anglican clergyman. After completing his BA at Christ Church College, Oxford, Woollcombe sailed to Canada to advance his career as an educator and fulfill his vision for a school that promoted “all-round development” and strong character. Woollcombe would lead Ashbury through its evolution and growth as Headmaster for 42 years.

Four years after the Ashbury Senior School moved to coeducation in 1982, Mrs. Jean Teron made history as the first woman nominated to Chair of the Board of Governors of Ashbury College in 1986.  Jean, an extraordinary volunteer and philanthropist, led several major campaigns including Campaign 2000, Building Futures (together with John Kelly) and was Honourary Chair for the SPARK Campaign. Jean’s leadership as a Governor, Foundation Board Director, volunteer and supporter have helped transform Ashbury into the leading independent school it is today.  Jean’s three sons, Chris ’76, Will ’86 and Bruce ’87 all attended Ashbury, and Chris served as Chair of the Board from 2008–2010.

Ned Rhodes Jr. (1936–2019) contributed remarkable service to Ashbury College as Chair of the Board from 1972–75, Foundation Board Director, Class Representative, loyal supporter and later as a Life Governor. The Ned Rhodes ’55 Family Bursary, established in 1994, has impacted the lives of many deserving students over the last quarter century, and will continue to so well into the future. Ned’s father, E.N (Ned) Rhodes Sr. was Board Chair from 1952–54 and was instrumental in the campus refurbishment of what is now known as Rhodes Hall.

Founded in 1950 as the Ashbury College Mothers’ Guild, this friend-raising and fundraising group of volunteers are known as the ‘Heart of Ashbury’ for good reason: hundreds of hours are dedicated to executing engaging events that raise important funds to enhance Ashbury. Historically, the Ashbury Antiques Fair was the Guild’s flagship event; in recent decades, the Ashbury Ball has become the don’t-miss event of the year, building community and raising important funds for the school. Contributions from the Guild impacts students across all grade levels, supporting capital projects, financial assistance, and general enhancements to all programs.

Don Maclaren (1920–2009) Ashbury alumnus, WWII veteran, father of Rodney, Duncan ’68, and Charlie ’71, former Chair of the Board of Governors and Life Governor and wonderful supporter of Ashbury. Don established the Duncan Maclaren Memorial Bursary in 1994 in memory of their son Duncan who passed away in 1979. Maclaren Hall, named after Don Maclaren in 2004, is Ashbury’s dining hall, special event and assembly space.

The Ashbury Community is deeply indebted to Cynthia Baxter for her vision and leadership as the founding Chair of the Ashbury College Foundation. Under Cynthia’s guidance, the Foundation was incorporated in June 1987 and now stands at $13.2M, disbursing financial assistance to 10% of Ashbury students every year. Cynthia, the first woman nominated to the Board of Governors in 1975, was instrumental in Ashbury’s move to adopt the IB program in 1978, the second school in Canada, after the UWC Pearson College, to do so. Cynthia’s leadership on the Curriculum Committee helped ensure a better level of French for all students at Ashbury, and her role as Chair of the Coeducational Committee was pivotal in the school moving to enrol girls in the Senior School in 1982. She is the mother of Colin, Brian ’79, and James ’83 and grandmother of Emily ’09, Isabelle ’12, Thomas ’20, Caitlin ’20 and Ben ’23.

In July 1940, Britain faced the uncertainty of WWII and Abinger Hill, an English prep school was evacuated en masse. Fifty-five young boys aged 8-12, led by James Harrison, made the overseas journey to Canada. Ashbury parents and friends rallied around the Abingerites to provide clothing, sports equipment and friendly, welcoming homes for holidays, hosts for outings, and cottage adventures during summer. Abinger Hill found a home in Ashbury for four years, with many friendships enduring long after the boys returned home in 1944.

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