John Osborn (1962)
After KES and Sidney Sussex College Cambridge, where I read classics, my first career was in Personnel (or Human Resources as it is called today) working for the Coal board, Philips Electrical and Wallis Fashion Group. It was at the latter that I switched into line management and was in succession MD of Wallis, Miss Selfridge and Warehouse. My last role was as Chief Executive for nearly 20 years of Alexon Group, a publicly quoted fashion Company. Since retirement in 2009 I have had great fun catching up on and developing a range of interests which include revisiting Classics, Romanesque Art and Architecture, things Late Antique, and a number of charitable ventures embracing KES, Cambridge, and Early Music.
Why I am supporting the AP100 Campaign
My family circumstances meant that my parents could never have afforded to pay for me to go to a school like KES. I was, however, lucky enough to get a free education at the school and then at Cambridge. So it makes a lot of sense to me to give something back. I am currently funding 10 boys and get updates from them once a year on how they are doing. Where possible I like to sponsor boys with musical talent- and to hear them play at school concerts is a reward in itself. I get great enjoyment from being a benefactor and would like to think other OEs can be encouraged to follow suit through the AP100 Campaign. It really is rewarding - not just to repay one's own educational debt but also watching the boys' progress from afar.
You can read more about John's support for the Campaign in an article he wrote in the 2013-14 Donor Report which will be mailed out soon.