A person with a display of books at the opening of an exhibition

By Nick Yates, ISB Communications

This is the stuff memories are made of. International School of Beijing (ISB) community members have a beautiful memento of the school’s 40th anniversary year in the shape of a Memory Book distributed to families, teachers, and staff this week.

The book’s more than 100 pages are packed with photos and stories from community submissions and the school’s archived materials. It was initiated by the 40th Anniversary Celebration Committee to preserve the collective memories of the school and as a keepsake for all those who have enjoyed the anniversary celebrations this year. Thank you to everyone who contributed their old photographs and ISB anecdotes, and to Tiffany Fung, a member of the ISB Class of 2017 and chief designer of the Memory Book.

ISB still has a few hundred copies of the Memory Book. To get yours before they run out, please email advancement@isb.bj.edu.cn.

Throughout this year, many of the vintage pictures and stories were turned into “Monday Memory” articles on important and captivating moments in ISB’s history. In addition to the Memory Book, the Monday Memories remain available to read on the Celebrating 40 web page.

ISB was the first international school in the Chinese capital and today is recognized as a leading center of learning. In its earliest stages, ISB was made up of eight students and two certified teachers in the hallway of a diplomatic apartment compound. In 1980, amid the growth of other diplomatic communities, the U.S. Embassy joined with the British, Australian, Canadian, and New Zealand embassies and formally founded ISB. What a lot has happened since then!

A display of books

The publication of the Memory Book caps a full year of celebrations. Everyone was invited to join in through a range of events and initiatives. In September, an opening ceremony for the festivities starred one of the world’s best violinists. The following month, students buried a time capsule – a historic cache of goods and information to be opened on the 50th day of the 50th anniversary year. Community members have donated over 250,000 RMB to a Birthday Gift Fund set up to offer grants for student initiatives in areas aligned with the school’s new Mission statement.

And there were many more fun and inspiring occasions marking the anniversary. The Memory Book itself was launched with an exhibition on campus this week entitled “Four Inspiring Decades, 1980-2020.” Its collection of photos and stories took visitors on a journey through ISB’s history.

Jerry Oldfield, ISB’s Director of Advancement and head of the 40th Anniversary Celebration Committee, said, “What a great year this has been of celebration and reflection! We’re so happy to have been able to produce this Memory Book as a souvenir. The book is by no means an exhaustive chronicle of the past 40 years, but it is hopefully a powerful means of inspiring the community to think about the role and far-reaching impact ISB has played and will continue to play in the world.”

The archiving project that made the Memory Book possible will now continue after the anniversary year. Staff are working to preserve records and photographic evidence of challenging and joyful learning for the decades to come. Here’s to many more ISB happy memories!

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