History of IBSC
In a speech delivered at the 12th Annual Conference in June, 2005, Richard Hawley, founding President of the International Boys' Schools Coalition, described how IBSC emerged from concurrent events – a meeting of small group of school heads held in 1989 called to discuss “the importance of the all-boys composition in otherwise thriving schools” and “a group of largely [US] east coast boys' school admissions officers, who decided to organize a conference on the condition of contemporary schoolboys.” While the Heads were interested primarily in philosophical and pedagogical issues, the admissions officers were motivated in part by concerns about the viability of boys’ schools following a period during which a number of boys’ schools and mens’ colleges had become coeducational.
As Hawley reported, “Almost immediately the admissions officers and the school heads became appreciatively aware of one another and decided together to stage another conference, this one involving considerable planning and offering itself to boys' school advocates from all over the world. Thus on a beautiful and very warm weekend in June of 1993 on the campus of the Belmont Hill School outside of Boston, the IBSC was born.”
Hawley, then Headmaster of University School in Ohio, was elected President. The organization -- initially named “Boys’ Schools: An International Coalition” -- was established in 1995 as a charitable (tax-exempt) organization under the Ohio Nonprofit Corporation Law and Section 501 (c) (3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code.
Although the Coalition was legally established under United States laws, “the boys' school momentum was international from the beginning,” as Hawley noted in his talk. “The first informal conversation of boys' school heads in 1989 included Eric Anderson, then headmaster of Eton College, Doug Blakey, then head of Upper Canada College in Toronto and John Bednall, then headmaster of the Hutchins School in Hobart, Tasmania as well as a number of school heads from the United States.” Since its founding, IBSC has become increasingly international. While in its first year, almost three-quarters of the members were in the U.S., IBSC currently includes 150 school members from a dozen countries on five continents. More than half are located outside the United States.
During most of its first decade, the administration of IBSC was managed by a part-time Executive Secretary and members of the IBSC Board of Trustees. As a result of a strategic planning process begun in 2001, the Board of Trustees decided to appoint a full-time Executive Director and establish an autonomous office for the organization. These decisions have enabled IBSC to expand its reach, broaden the services it provides and develop a more secure financial base.
In 2004, the Articles of Incorporation were amended. The name of the organization was legally changed to “International Boys' Schools Coalition,” the size of the Board of Trustees was expanded (from a maximum limit of 12 to a limit of 27), term limits for trustees were adopted, and procedures for the identification, nomination and election of new trustees were revised to encourage participation by schools not located in the United States (United States laws regarding tax-exempt institutions require that formal election of trustees be carried out by member institutions which themselves qualify as tax-exempt organizations.). A copy of the Articles of Incorporation and Guidelines (By-laws) as amended can be found in the “Members Only” section of this web site.
Today, IBSC is well-positioned to further its dedication to “the education and development of boys, the professional growth of those who work with them, and the advocacy and the advancement of institutions - primarily schools for boys - that serve them.”
Presidents of the IBSC Board of Trustees:
1994-98: Richard Hawley, Headmaster University School, Shaker Heights, OH
1998-99: Brewster Ely, Headmaster, Town School for Boys, San Francisco, CA
1999-03: Bradford Gioia, Headmaster, Montgomery Bell Academy, Nashville, TN
2003-06: Richard Melvoin, Headmaster, Belmont Hill School, Belmont, MA
2006-09: Graham Able, Headmaster, Dulwich College, London, ENG
2009- : Vance Wilson, Headmaster, Saint Albans School, Washington, DC