Former BBC Director-General appointed patron of Stonyhurst Foundation

Mark Thompson, former Director General of the BBC and former CEO of the New York Times, has been appointed as the inaugural patron of the Stonyhurst Foundation - a registered charity focused on removing financial barriers to make an education at Stonyhurst College available to as many young people as possible. 


Founded in 1593, Stonyhurst is the oldest continuously active Jesuit school in the world and one of Britain’s leading co-educational Catholic boarding and day schools for 3–18 year olds. 


The appointment recognises Mark Thompson’s outstanding commitment to the Foundation and support for its ethos and aims.


As Mark himself explained: "I know from my own experience how Stonyhurst can change lives. World-class teachers like Peter Hardwick and Freddie Turner SJ opened my mind and the school gave me a confidence and independence that has served me well ever since. The Stonyhurst Foundation will make this unique education available to so many more young people, and that's why I am so pleased to endorse it.


“I’m tremendously excited about the Foundation’s mission and the potential to grow its philanthropic income. I look forward to working with the Trustees to raise funds and help achieve the Foundation’s ambitions, and to build on the wonderful support of its donors and ambassadors.”


For Stephen Withnell, Stonyhurst Foundation’s Director, the appointment comes a crucial moment: “Mark is an alumnus and a passionate supporter of Stonyhurst. He is a former Director General of the BBC and a former CEO of the New York Times. His appointment comes at a pivotal time for the Foundation, as we seek to deliver an ambitious strategic fundraising plan, a plan which aims to make the Stonyhurst Foundation the most ambitious provider of bursaries and fee assistance in Catholic education in the UK. Mark’s unparalleled leadership experience in the business and charity sectors will be of enormous benefit to the Foundation as we move forward.”