Thank The Donor Day: “Donations truly change lives”

During the annual Thank The Donor Day on November 20, Stichting Nyenrode Fonds (SNF) thanked all alumni and other donors who have contributed to the university’s success. Their generosity makes it possible for students to come study at Nyenrode who otherwise would not have the financial resources to do so. These donors also contribute to the restoration of monuments on the estate and provide funding for investments in the university’s educational facilities.

This year’s Thank The Donor Day was combined with the celebration of Nyenrode’s Dies Natalis, the 73rd anniversary of the university. Thanks to the generous gifts from the donors, SNF is able to organize initiatives such as scholarships for students. Tanja Visser, Director of SNF and herself an alumna of the university, gave a speech in which she emphasized the massive impact that such scholarships can have on recipients. “I believe that I can create a small change myself, and that together we can make the world a little better.” Visser added that a great deal of funding from alumni, businesses and government authorities will also be required for much-needed repairs to the castle in the years ahead. These repairs will cost several million euros.

Genuine impact on someone’s life

“Sometimes I hear that as part of SNF – together with lots of help from others – I have brought about a major change in someone’s life,” Visser explained. “One example is a girl who, by coming here to study, was able to escape a marriage that her parents had arranged for her without her consent. Thank you to all of the donors for making this possible for her.”

“Another example is a student who dreamed of being able to study at Nyenrode but did not have the means to do so himself, and who – immediately after graduating – started paying to give another student the same experience. Or a talented Asian student who says that he is finally able to be who he really is, has found the love of his life and can now be together with him in freedom. Or a Syrian refugee who never could have had a life like this without the gifts of our committed donors. On the day of his graduation, he said with tears in his eyes that the donors had truly changed his life.”

Contributing to a new generation of students

Visser highlighted that the scholarships offered by SNF are revolving scholarships. This means that, once they have become true Nyenrodians, the recipients are expected to do their very best to contribute to the education of another new generation of students later on.

Scholarship ceremony

As is tradition, the Thank The Donor Day program includes a ceremony in which the donors present scholarships to the students they have selected. This year three students received scholarships for the BSc in Business Administration program. These scholarships were made possible by alumni from the NOIB (Dutch Training Institute for Foreign Enterprise) class of 1958 (Mijer Fonds), the BBA class of 1976 and Annerie Brenninkmeijer. In addition, five students received scholarships for the Full-time MSc in Management program. Their scholarships were funded by donations from the classes of 1958, 1977 and 1985, Marcel Fennis and the American Friends of Nyenrode University (AFNU).

Getting the best out of Nyenrode

In his speech following the scholarship ceremony, Remmelt Vetkamp, CFO of Nyenrode Business University, shared that the scholarships from Stichting Nyenrode Fonds have enabled more than 180 students to pursue their studies at Nyenrode over the years. Altogether, the donors have contributed more than €2 million to these scholarships. Vetkamp pointed out the recipients’ moral obligation to the donors: “Make sure that you get the best out of your time here at Nyenrode, so that you can develop into a new generation of responsible leaders.”

Festive closing

The Dies Natalis ceremony concluded with a drinks reception. Afterwards, the invited donors and scholarship students headed to the Koetshuis where they were welcomed by Stichting Nyenrode Fonds with a festive and – above all – fun dinner, where old ties were strengthened and new connections were made. Student band The Booze provided the musical accompaniment for the evening.

Prior to the dinner, Stichting Nyenrode Fonds chairman Walter Remmerswaal thanked the donors once again: “In this world, you can get knowledge anywhere. But development is another thing. With the current socio-political trends as well as issues in areas such as the climate and artificial intelligence, which will allow computers to take over the work of humans, people as a connecting factor are becoming increasingly important. Nyenrode can play a unique role in this regard, since we have always devoted a great deal of attention to development here. That is something we are proud of. We are very grateful to the donors for their contributions to these efforts.”