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Old Dragon Entrepreneurs

on Fire

Wednesday 2 March 2016

A panel of Old Dragon entrepreneurs held

current parents, ODs and staff spellbound

at the first

Arduus ad Solem

: Event in

March. The evening’s host, Ted Mott (OD

1956), introduced the four speakers: theatre

entrepreneur Lucy Eaton (2011), Lucius

Cary OBE (1960), founder and MD of Oxford

Technology Management (OTM), Mark

Esiri (1978), founder of Venrex Investment

Management and Roger Mavity (1956), author

and advertising entrepreneur.

The speakers agreed that their Dragon

education had been “liberating” and had

influenced each of their chosen careers and

subsequent success. Mark Esiri added that his

“first trade had been marbles at the Dragon”.

The entrepreneurs’ advice to current pupils

was: stay creative, be true to yourself, aim high

and don’t be frightened to make mistakes.

The conversation sparkled and fizzed

during the drinks reception that followed.

Many thanks are due to Ted Mott (1956)

and his son David (1986), founding partners

of private equity firm Oxford Capital, who

co-devised the event with the Dragon’s

Development and Alumni Team.


Arduus ad solem

is the motto known

well by Dragons present and past, three

words written wherever the Dragon

crest sits: on every hymn book, rugby

shirt and term book. Dragons are taught

to understand the literal meaning of the

words (“steep to the sun”, or perhaps

“strive towards the sun”) and the force of

the words: it takes hard work to achieve

great things. This sentiment has been

part of the lifeblood of the Dragon from

the start.

What few know is that the words were

written over two thousand years ago by

possibly the finest Latin poet: Virgil. He

was, in both the


and the


referring to what you could call a little

dragon, a snake (coluber), in the very

prime of health, as it emerges from its

winter hibernation. In this description,

the snake has sloughed its old skin and

is full of new life, coiling its scaly back,

rearing up and flicking its forked tongue,

revelling in the sun.

We would be delighted to support any OD wishing to organise a regional or overseas event or become involved in one of our planned

Arduus ad Solem

: Networking events. We are looking into organising these with themes such as Film, TV and Theatre, Property, Science &

Technology, Creative Arts and Finance. If you can help please contact Holly Paterson at

Arduus ad Solem


Networking Groups bring

together members of the

Dragon community from

industry or special interest

groups for a networking

gathering with a theme.

Arduus ad Solem

: Groups

are championed by Old

Dragons, but open to all

members of the Dragon

Community including past

and present parents and

former staff. The networks

aim to build relationships,

mentor young alumni or

help find career help and

guidance through our

Arduus ad Solem

: Network.


Arduus ad





Arduus ad Solem


Digital Marketing

Thursday 24 November

2016, Oxford

Arduus ad Solem



Thursday 19 January

2017, London

Further details of

forthcoming events will

be sent out in the Old

Dragon e-newsletter,

which is sent termly.

Please email


Arduus ad Solem

Strive for the Sun

cum positis novus exuviis nitidusque iuventa

with skin having been laid aside new and

shining with youth,

squamea convolvens sublato pectore terga

he coils [his] scaly back with chest raised

arduus ad solem, et linguis micat ore


high to the sun and he darts triple forked

tongues in his mouth.

The slightly less wholesome aspect of

the simile of the snake is that it describes

a bloodthirsty Greek prince about to sack

the Trojan palace of King Priam. However,

it could so easily refer to the indomitable

vitality of Dragon children.

The resonances of the motto


ad Solem

speak of young life, unbounded

energy and aspiration that reaches for

the stars.

Thanks to Margaret Pinsent, née Bowen,

(OD 1939) and Bruno Shovelton, our current

Classics Master, for their input.

Lucius Carey (OD 1960), Lucy Eaton (OD 2001), Ted Mott (OD 1956) and

Roger Mavity (OD 1956) at the

Arduus ad Solem

: Entrepreneurs' Forum

Holly Paterson, Events Officer, with Lucy Eaton (OD 2011)