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The BISC Celebrates 25 Years in Style

Simply put, we had an amazing weekend! Our thanks to everyone who made the trip to sunny Sussex for the BISC's 25th anniversary celebrations. We counted 180 reunion participants over the two days, making the event the largest gathering of Castle alumni ever!

Special thanks must also go to the many volunteers who helped to make the event possible, and to the event and catering staff who worked tirelessly in the heat to keep our guests hydrated and happy. Our photographers, Alex, Dan and Sara snapped away for two days straight and have taken some great photos of the event. Check out the Flickr carousel on the main Alumni News page to see how the weekend unfolded. For enquiries, be sure to contact Alex Read at Alex Read Photography. You can also find more of alumna Sara Greenwood's work @maplegreen on Instagram. 

For those Castle alumni that were unable to attend, we trust at least some of the images we posted of the weekend on social media using #Castle25 reached you, wherever you are in the world. We very much hope to see you next time. If you did spend the weekend with us and have a favourite photo or treasured memory of the celebration that you wish to share, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We would love to hear from you!

Read more about our celebrations in the Queen's Gazette

“Our challenge now is to build on what we have so that we will have even more to celebrate by the time we mark our 50th anniversary.” Dr J. Hugh Horton, Vice Provost & Executive Director, BISC

The BISC Alumni Spotlight Series Showcases Castle Alumni

A2 Spotlight 2Since the Castle opened its doors to students in 1994, it has welcomed more than 7,000 students from across Canada and around the world. Our BISC Alumni Spotlight Series aims to connect and celebrate this unique alumni community by profiling Castle grads who were deeply impacted by their BISC experience and are now making a difference in the world.

As part of the BISC’s 25th anniversary celebrations, we unveiled the first four BISC ‘Spotlightees’ – Castle grads who volunteered to share their stories. If you have not yet read their fascinating stories, please visit our Spotlight page.

Our inaugural group of BISC Spotlightees featured, in chronological order of the year they attended the Castle: Nazanin Afshin-Jam McKay, BISC'98; Cynthia Harris, BISC'99; Jay Dickieson, BISC'07; and Cameron Crawley, BISC'09. Although their backgrounds and the career paths vary greatly, it is abundantly clear that all four felt that their experiences at the Castle inspired them and were an overwhelmingly positive force in their lives.

It is only fitting as we celebrate 25 years of teaching and learning at the BISC, that we use the Alumni Spotlight Series to celebrate our unique Castle alumni community. You can help by telling us how your time at the Castle impacted your life. Help us inspire future Castle students by answering a few questions about how your career has progressed and the part the Castle played in your personal and professional development. Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out how you could be featured in our ongoing BISC Spotlight Series. Over the coming months, we will aim to profile a minimum of four new BISC Spotlightees in every edition of the Castle Herald, so watch this space!

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Spotlightees July19

Using LinkedIn to Build a Castle Network

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If the 25th anniversary celebrations taught us anything, it is that there is a tremendous amount of goodwill towards the BISC and an immense feeling of pride among alumni at being able to call themselves a Castle grad. Looking ahead to the next quarter century, we need to stay strongly connected and build on our success to inspire new generations of students to make the most of the opportunities at the BISC.

There are all manner of social media platforms we could use to stay connected, but we have identified LinkedIn as perhaps the most professional and video-of-a-cat-on-a-skateboard-free way of building a strong Castle network online. Please help us to stay in touch and unite Castle alumni worldwide by joining the Bader International Study Centre’s LinkedIn group. Whether you are a former student, member of staff, or part of the teaching faculty, we need your extended networks to help connect anyone fortunate enough to live, work or study on the Herstmonceux Castle estate.

The group membership currently stands at just over 500, when we know the actual number of Castle grads is something in the region of 7000! So, if you are a proud Castle grad, please join the BISC Alumni Network, and be sure to invite your former classmates to do so as well. Thank you.

Join us on LinkedIn

PS – We have nothing against videos of cats on skateboards per se. The BISC has a presence on a number of other social media channels, so be sure to follow us on these sites too!


Thank You for the Memories Alfred!

A4 Thanks AlfredIn December 2018, we mourned the passing of the Castle’s magnanimous benefactor Dr. Alfred Bader, BSc’45, BA’46, MSc’47, LLD’86. As former Principal Daniel Woolf noted at the time, Alfred Bader’s Queen’s legacy, "will live on in future generations who will be enriched by his profound love for this university."

Guests at the BISC’s 25th anniversary celebrations had the opportunity to leave heartfelt messages and personal memories of Alfred Bader and their time at the Castle in a special memory book.

If you have some of your own memories to share, or even if you never met Alfred but still wish to leave a message for his family, this is the last call for entries before all messages are carefully collated and presented to Dr. Bader’s family.

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Herstmonceux Castle mourns the passing of beloved benefactor Dr. Alfred Bader


It is with great sadness that we announce that Dr. Alfred Bader CBE, chemist, proud Queen’s alumnus, art-collector, and philanthropist passed away on December 23, 2018 at the age of 94.

In 2019 the Bader International Study Centre (BISC) celebrates 25 years of teaching and learning at Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex. For a quarter of a century, students from Canada and all over the world have been able to enjoy a truly transformative educational experience at Herstmonceux Castle, thanks to the vision and generosity of one man, Dr. Alfred Bader.

It is with great sadness that the BISC, on behalf of all staff, students, faculty and friends of Herstmonceux Castle announce the passing of Dr Bader on December 23, 2018 at the age of 94. He is survived by his wife Isabel and their two sons, David and Daniel. Our thoughts are with them and their families at this difficult time.

The BISC will be commemorating Dr. Bader’s life and extraordinary gift of the Herstmonceux Castle Estate to Queen’s University in the coming months. In addition, Castle alumni will gather on Saturday June 29 to mark the BISC’s silver anniversary and the BISC’s Executive Director and Vice-Principal Dr. Hugh Horton would like to extend a special invitation to all friends of Herstmonceux Castle and the local community to celebrate Canada Day at the Castle on Sunday June 30. A special Book of Memories will be made available for those who wish to share their own memories of Alfred with his family.

“Alfred’s incredible legacy includes awards, bursaries, and fellowships at Queen’s, giving numerous students access to an educational experience that can transform their lives,” said Dr Horton “And among his many gifts is Herstmonceux Castle – a remarkable symbol of the Baders’ commitment to offering students a challenging global education infused with social justice, a thirst for knowledge, and civic responsibility.”

A full obituary for Dr. Bader can be found on the Queen’s University website at: www.queensu.ca/gazette/stories/alfred-bader-celebration-extraordinary-life

Bader International Study Centre
Herstmonceux Castle
Hailsham, East Sussex
United Kingdom, BN27 1RN
Phone: +44 1323 834444
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Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment
Gordon Hall, 74 Union Street
Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
Canada, K7L 3N6
Phone: (613) 533-2218
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