Established in 2000, the Auckland Grammar School Foundation Trust's aim is to promote the advancement of education by charitable means through the Academic Endowment Fund (AEF). The AEF was formed to ensure the School had the best possible teachers by supporting the recruitment, retention and rewarding of top-quality staff, as well as assisting the School through the provision of physical resources.

Over the past 20 years, the Foundation Trust has received generous contributions from the Grammar community through direct gifts and events including the annual Gala Dinner and the biennial Art House Tour. Contributions have also been forthcoming from the Friends of the School trusts in the United Kingdom and the United States.

This generosity has allowed the Trust to make significant contributions to several capital projects, provide awards to deserving staff and acknowledge contributions to the extracurricular life of the School. In addition to these outflows, the Trust has an eye to the future by creating a capital fund of over $10 million. The Trust has a duty to the Grammar community to exercise a superior level of stewardship over this capital base. While adopting a conservative approach, the Trustees are also aware they need to ensure the capital base continues to generate income consistent with the economic environment of the time.

We spoke to several staff members about what the AEF means to them - click here to watch the video.

Because of the Academic Endowment Fund:

- 52 teachers were awarded for excellence inside and outside the classroom in 2022
- 438 teaching awards have been given out since 2004
- 277 extracurricular awards were made to teachers in 2019 and 2020
- 2,057 extracurricular awards have been made since 2004

Your support to reach this ambitious target ensures that Auckland Grammar School can continue to hold fast to its tradition of excellence, and can consistently deliver teaching excellence which the School is famous for.

Current donor Gerald Young's son William '12 finished at Auckland Grammar School in 2016. The reason why he gave back to the School is because he believes the characteristics of a world-class education are "academic achievement and a well-grounded and well-rounded son." As well as current donors, we also spoke to several Old Boys to better understand why they have donated to the Academic Endowment Fund and two staff who have benefitted and received Teacher Awards.

David Schnauer '63

David Schnauer '63 wanted to give to the Academic Endowment Fund to "incentivise high-performing staff and to supplement their standard government-paid teacher salaries."

David knew that more had to be done to ensure students from Auckland Grammar School receive the best education they can. "If a country seeks excellence in education, it needs to put maximum resources behind the institutions which are most likely to deliver that excellence."

David believes strongly in generously rewarding the "outstanding, dedicated and long-serving teachers" at Grammar. "Retention of top staff and appropriately rewarding them is surely critical for the ongoing success of the School."

He was more than happy to make a donation to the AEF and he hoped that "many other Old Boys who have not already done so, will likewise be willing to help."

Ben Smythe '91

Ben Smythe is proud to be an Old Boy. He started in Form 3 in 1991 and he tells people that Grammar "is more than just the buildings and attendance - it's an environment for learning based on core beliefs and tradition". This is one of the reasons why Ben decided to support students at the School.

Being an Old Boy, Ben knows all about the expectation of the School - "you hold yourself to a higher standard". Grammar is one of those schools where world-class education is paramount. When he spoke with us, Ben said that it was important to have this level of experience so that you "can trust the level of education and how you conduct yourself."

As a donor, Ben wanted to ensure the high standard and calibre of teachers and students at the School was maintained. He recalls one of the most rewarding experiences he had after a conversation with Director of Human Resources, John Blyth.

He has sponsored students after he learned funds were the only thing stopping them from attending a sporting tournament and received personalised letters from them. "[The students] had the drive, passion and ability. To be able to enable them to realise that through something so easy for us was awesome."

For more information about the Academic Endowment Fund, please contact Director of Advancement Daniel Reddish on 09 623 5412 or via email at