THE ROUND SQUARE, The Oxymoron
In Scotland a "square" has traditionally been the administrative
centre of an estate. As a result of a slight historical geometric anomaly
the "square" of Gordonstoun is a perfectly circular two storey
building - The Round Square. The first conference was held in this building
in 1967 and it was decided to adopt the name "The Round Square Conference"
for the association.
The 'Round Square',
from idea to foundation...
The idea came from Greece where Jocelin Winthrop Young was headmaster of
Anavryta school. A pupil of Kurt Hahn's in Salem and Gordonstoun, he had been
involved in the international students reconstruction project organised by
Salem after the great earthquake in the Ionian Islands in 1954. This had been
such a success that Young considered the scheme of founding a permanent association
of schools, started by Kurt Hahn or his colleagues or pupils, to provide aid
projects for those in need. In 1962/3 he visited ten of these schools to explain
the plan; this included an annual conference for co-ordination and discussion.
In 1966, on Hahn's 80th birthday, Young had these schools invited to the celebrations
in Salem and sent them the agenda of a meeting for the foundation of a "Hahn
Schools Conference". King Constantine of the Hellenes, a former pupil
of Anavryta, chaired the meeting and the plan was approved by the seven schools
represented. Young was appointed to run the association and retired as director
in 1992. The first conference was held at Gordonstoun in 1967.