A small Nyenrode delegation visited the east coast of America at the end of March. The delegation consisted of Rector Magnificus Koen Becking, Research Director Bo van der Rhee, and Louise Out van Staveren and Anouk Reitsma from Alumni Relations & Fundraising. The goal was to strengthen the relationship with the alumni there as well as build bridges in relation to exchanges, research and international education. American Friends of Nyenrode University (AFNU) had engaged their network to make the visit possible.
In one week, they paid New York, Atlanta, Washington, and Boston a visit. A couple of alumni were hosts and ambassadors in each city. In New York the program included a reception at the home of alumnus Alex Roepers, where other alumni from the area could meet each other. The four visitors also interacted with the AFNU Board at a luncheon hosted by Andy and Priscilla Bender.
In Atlanta, the delegation was invited by Consul General Ard van der Vorst. They also had an appointment with the Dean of the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia in Athens, stopping by the Development & Alumni Relations Department. "We have worked together in the past on student and faculty exchanges. We are going to investigate whether we can re-establish these ties," says Out van Staveren, Director of Alumni Relations & Fundraising ad interim and a Nyenrode alumna. This visit was made possible by Bill Huber, Chairman of the AFNU Board.
André Haspels, the ambassador of the Netherlands to the United States, emphasized in Washington the importance of cooperation between American and Dutch universities in relation to exchanges. Also on the program was a lunch with former Congressman Jim Slattery (alumnus 1969). During a reception with alumnus Jack Roepers and his wife Nadereh, a member of the International Advisory Board, Prof. Dr. Bo van der Rhee gave a taste of the impact we achieve through research. "With our impact cases, we show how our research contributes in a positive way to solving the problems of the 21st century."
At the end of the trip, the visitors visited the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, a private research university founded in 1861. The week ended with a meeting at the home of host Ellen Teunissen where Becking talked to the alumni present. He looks back on a successful visit: "Stories where alumni tell us that Nyenrode was a life-changing experience for them are wonderful to hear. It’s great to see that they also want to give students who do not have the financial resources a chance to have that same experience."
North America has approximately 700 Nyenrode alumni. And AFNU plays an indispensable role in maintaining and expanding the Nyenrode community. The organization's primary task is to support the university's educational activities, raise funds for scholarships, and organize events where Nyenrode alumni have the opportunity to network with current students and faculty.
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