Over 800 University of Groningen (UG) alumni live and/or work in London, which is the highest concentration of alumni in a city outside of the Netherlands. With over 14 international alumni chapters, a chapter in London was yet to be established. This is why a first official alumni meeting was held on April 18th, 2017, to explore the interest in such a chapter. Within 48 hours after publishing the event, the University had to install a waiting list for the more than 100 people signing up.
Alumni hang on every word of the interesting speeches given by the Ambassador of the Netherlands, Simon Smits, by the CEO of Unilever Paul Polman, who is the chairman of the Ubbo Emmius Fund, the fund of the UG. The final presentation was given by the President of the UG, Sibrand Poppema, who spoke among other things about the planned branch campus of the University of Groningen in Yantai, China.
Polman, being the chairman of the Ubbo Emmius Fund, the fund of the UG, emphasized the deeper purpose of the alumni chapters during his speech. 'I think when it really comes to investing in the future for our children and all of their children, the best investment we can make is the investment in education and giving people the opportunities to the best education and that is being challenged in many cases. So if the alumni network gets together and thinks of things that they can do together on possibilities to help the University, we should really give that some thought.' He continues, 'I know socializing is very important but also to see what you can do now and in the future to basically pay back your duty to society, which we all have in fact. I’m proud of the University and I will be even prouder if you figure out what you can all do to make it an even better institution.’
Read the full speech by Paul Polman and check out the activities by the Ubbo Emmius Fund via its crowdfunding platform or by visiting the project overview.
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