Solan: Located in the Salubrious environment of the Simla hills, The Lawrence School, Sanawar is celebrating its 177th Foundation Day this year. The three days long celebrations kicked off on Saturday in the school premises already buzzing with activities galore. In a ‘Thanks Giving’ Special Assembly convened in its iconic Chapel built in 1851, the Headmaster, Mr. Himmat Singh Dhillon read out the special prayer and also awarded the commendable efforts of three staff members instrumental in bringing out two publications titled, “The Sanawar Handbook” and “The Familiar Birds of Sanawar”. He also spoke about the importance of Integrity of Character and exhorted every member of the Community of Learners to stand by what is right and to do their Duty.

The Foundation Day celebrations are a precursor of many calendared events and the festivities will eventually culminate on 4th October with a mega event popularly known as ‘Founder’s Day’.

Service to the community, as well as to the Nation has always been at the heart of the educational ethos of The Lawrence School, Sanawar ever since its inception in 1847. Inspired by the spirit of “Protect, Preserve and Progress ….for Sustainable Happiness”, under the aegis of  the Social Welfare Department, over 500 students of the school engaged in Shramdaan (volunteer labour) towards campus cleaning and nurturing Nature on Sunday exhibiting exemplary environmental stewardship. In recognition of the world becoming a Knowledge-based society, the school has also launched a “Read to Lead” campaign and special awards have been instituted to engender the love for reading and critical thinking to commemorate this occasion. 

A student-led Special Assembly was organized to mark the Foundation Day on Monday, April 15, wherein students made a presentation on the 177 years long glorious journey of Sanawar and enthralled the school community by engaging them in a brain-tickling quiz on the history of Sanawar. Altogether ten students were felicitated with ‘The Sanawar Reading Award’ for being outstanding readers. Ayanna Soin and Keshav Goyal were awarded certificates of Honour in the Gold category. In addition, a special dinner as well as a social gathering to mark the Red Letter Day was also arranged for the Community of Learners.

Coinciding with its Foundation Day, the School also celebrated Himachal Day. Despite being an Administrative Holiday, students participated in many activities such as a Painting Exhibition, a Multimedia Competition, and a Robotics & Innovation Competition for Students of Grades 7 to 10. On the sporting front, Swimming, The Hodson Run, and Inter-House Cricket Matches were also played.    

Established in 1847 by Sir Henry Lawrence and his wife Honoria, the school is believed to be the world’s first co-educational boarding school. The founder wanted to open an asylum for orphans of British soldiers to shelter them from the “debilitating effects of the tropical climate and the demoralizing influence of barrack life”. In 1853, the School was presented with the King’s Colour, one of the only seven schools and colleges ever to be so honoured in the British Empire. The School further evolved and modernized throughout the last century and continues to thrive in the educational landscape of the 21st century. The Lawrence School, Sanawar is a member of the Headmasters’ Conference (HMC), The Indian Public-School Conference (IPSC), and The Boarding Schools Association of India, and is also a Round Square member.

Eponymous with the Sanawar hill upon which it stands, the School is known for churning out men and women with strength of character. The famous Nobel-winning author Rudyard Kipling wrote in his book Kim: “It’s miraculous beyond all whooping. We’ll make a man of you at Sanawar.” Indeed, the heritage school counts world leaders, top businessmen, distinguished army officers and renowned artists among its alumni. The Lawrence School, Sanawar, is the proud alma mater of many eminent men and women who have made their mark worldwide. Having a deep connection with armed forces, the gallantry awardees who studied at Sanawar include 2nd Lt. Arun Khetarpal PVC, the youngest officer recipient of the Param Vir Chakra.

The school’s alumni hold prestigious ranks in all three Departments of Defense and the Police Force. There are a large number of alumni in the corporate world as well as in the Civil and Foreign Services, occupying significant posts. With a focus on holistic education, the school has produced a plethora of accomplished alumni in various fields, including renowned personalities. Notable alumni include Mr. Navin Chawla, Mrs. Maneka Gandhi, Mr. Parikshat Sahni, Mr. Sanjay Dutt, Mr. Jesse Bhattal, former Ambassador Taranjit S. Sandhu, Justice Rajive Bhalla, Mrs. Kiran Nadar, Mr. Puneet Renjen, and Mr. Shiva Keshvan.

As one of the foremost educational institutions in India, The Lawrence School, Sanawar has carved a niche for itself in the educational sphere. Under the able guidance of Mr. Himmat Singh Dhillon, the Headmaster, the School stands as a beacon of educational excellence. The School has been ranked No.1 in the Vintage Legacy Co-ed Boarding Schools category by Educational World India School Rankings 2022-23. The School has been awarded the title of School of the Year in its category by Educational World India in 2023-24.

Preserving its rich history with pride, the School imbues a forward-looking attitude in its students. This magnificent edifice of education continues to inspire and shape future leaders, innovators, and contributors to society, preparing them to make a positive impact on the world

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