About us

KCOBA USA Inc. is a Not-For-Profit {IRS Code 501 (c) 3} Alumni organization, established in 1982 for the purpose of supporting and promoting Kingston College, its alums and our local communities. We provide a network, in partnership with Kingston College, where old boys and friends can join us and share in the Fortis Pride, Network and Philanthropy.

The aims and objectives of KCOBA USA are:

  • To promote the interest of Kingston College and those who attended that institution;
  • To uphold and perpetuate it’s teachings;
  • To promote a better understanding of, and an appreciation for, the cultural heritage of Jamaica;
  • To formulate economic and social ideas for the betterment of the human family and KC in particular;
  • To engage in fund raising activities to obtain the means to assist needy students and special projects at Kingston College, Jamaica, West Indies, and deserving local charities in the USA.

A eighteen-member volunteer board of directors comprising of a President, two (2) Vice Presidents, Secretary, Treasurer and thirteen (13) Directors coordinate the activities of KCOBA USA. Membership is open to all former students of Kingston College and board approved members of the public, male and female.

Kingston College Old Boys have been loyally generous in preserving the traditions and strengthening the legacy of KC by giving of their time, talent and/or finances. Today we are the third largest source of funding to our alma mater, behind the government and tuition.

Over the decades, we have maintained a growing scholarship program inspired by our founder, The Right Reverend Percival William Gibson’s educational journey. In 1907, young Gibson was fortunate enough to earn a full academic scholarship to a very prominent high school. He thought it was a blessing as his parents could not have afforded the fees. He never received less than 90 percent in any subject during the four years before graduating. Later, he became the first black student admitted to St. Peter’s Anglican Theological College, again on a scholarship. Presently, we offer fifty (50) scholarships annually. In addition, we maintain a Nutrition Program, providing breakfast and lunch in support of indigent students; we contribute to various infrastructure development programs; provide essential school gears; support sports’ teams and clubs; sponsor the Penn Relay team; sponsor The FortisCare Backpack, providing students with personal and school resources; established and maintain the Joyce Baxter Math Club; and provide books and other educational resources, including SAT preparation.

Over the thirty years that we have sponsored scholarships at Kingston College our recipients have proved themselves to be the best and brightest that the school has produced. We are proud of a one hundred percent (100%) graduation rate. Eighty five percent (85%) have gone on to study primarily at the University of the West Indies, University of Technology, Cuba or infrequently in the United States. From their ranks have risen first generation doctors, lawyers, accountants, teachers and even a playwright.

Currently, we have embarked on the ‘KC Library & Technology Capital Campaign’ to upgrade the libraries, technology resource centers and provide much needed classrooms by completing the Douglas Forrest Building.  The success of this campaign is essential for Kingston College to continue its founder’s vision in this 21st century.
Kingston College

The founding and continued mission of Kingston College is to provide a high school education to inner city boys that lay the foundation for good citizenship, producing leaders of high moral character and Christian values. Kingston College was declared open on Thursday, April 16, 1925 at a ceremony held in the courtyard of the old Rectory on East Street, Kingston, Jamaica.  The following day, the first forty-nine students registered and classes began on Monday, April 20 with first Head Master and Founder, The Right Reverend Percival W. Gibson.

The first two decades of K.C were a struggle, buoyed only by the motto “Fortis Cadere Cedere non Potest,” translation, “The Brave May Fall, But Never Yield’.  However, the following twenty five years, from 1950 through 1975 would come to be known as ‘the golden era,” an era of academic brilliance and excellence in sports. Rev. Gibson saw sports as a tool of development, building character and cementing a fierce school pride. He encouraged not just academic excellence but sports participation. Indeed during his tenure, our greatest minds were also our finest athletes.  In 1956 the College had a change in leadership, but not in philosophy, with the arrival of our second Head Master, Douglas Waxell Forrest and the ascension of Rev. Percival Gibson to the post of Lord Bishop of Jamaica.  Mr. Forrest came to KC the year after it was founded, 1926 and would remain here as teacher and mentor some twenty five years after his 1971 retirement. From 1949 to 1957, the school would win the Jamaica Scholarship six times, we have produced four Rhode Scholars, Centenary Scholars and Jamaica Independence Scholarship, and since it entered inter-schools sports in 1928 it has won 33 titles, including fifteen successive years, from 1962 -1975.  We have produced Olympic medalists, West Indies cricketers and footballers, just to mention a few.  What has been unequivocally proven is that a ‘down town’ school, drawing heavily from the working class and the poor, could produce high-class scholars, sportsmen and fine, productive citizens.

Bishop Gibson identified the five reasons for Kingston College’s success:
• the type of education given, in which the aim is Christian character
• the dedicated service of the teaching staff
• the fact that KC is an embodiment of the Jamaican spirit
• the continuity of policy, and
• the loyalty and devotion of the boys, particularly those who have piloted the Old Boys’ Association.

Today, Kingston College has over one thousand nine hundred (1900) students with an academic staff of one hundred (100).  The school has achieved many successes over the past eighty-nine (89) years in every field.  However, the oppressive poverty continues to linger in much of our student body, as we continue Priest’s dream.  The government of Jamaica pays only teachers’ salaries. Operating expenses such as library and stationery, laboratory specimens, health clinic supplies, utilities and insurance are covered from a stipend imposed on each student. The amount charged to students may appear paltry by US standards, but for many of our students and their parents, it represents a foreboding challenge. There are no endowments, no deferred giving or annual funds. The dedicated work of KCOBA, its family, friends and supporters is what makes the difference for that percentage of our students for whom an education would not be an option.

“…Committed to supporting and promoting Fortis Forever.”

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