Friends of Cobbenhagen
The idea of interesting alumni in a special kind of fundraising by establishing a 'circle of friends' had been floating around for some time. In the autumn of 1992, Marcel van der Linden, in the course of four meetings at his home, proposed this idea to some fifty alumni who might warm to it. Their enthusiasm for it turned out to be considerable and their readiness to participate was virtually unanimous. The Circle of Friends was established, and their first meeting took place on Thursday 18 March 1993.
Besides being prepared to fund alumni activities, many graduates are eager to meet up with former fellow students once in a while and to maintain ties with 'Tilburg'. They are also interested in the ups and downs of Tilburg University and in the wide range of possibilities the university is currently offering. This group of interested graduates is also prepared to do something, in whatever way, for Tilburg University if their current social positions allow them to do so. The Circle of Friends of Cobbenhagen is the platform par excellence to allow them to do so.
Members of the Circle of Friends have the opportunity to propose nominees and invite them to a first introduction. In general, overtures are preferably made to people who have studied at (but not necessarily graduated from) Tilburg University. Membership may also be offered to people who, in one way or another, are, or used to be, associated with Tilburg University, for example, as lecturers or administrators, or to people who for other reasons feel a strong bond with the university. The cost of membership is 500 Euros per year. Partners pay a reduced rate.
At least twice a year, special meetings are organized for the Friends of Cobbenhagen. At these meetings, it is standard practice to broach a topical subject that has social relevance. In the past few years, it has become customary to hold one of the meetings at the university; the other, sometimes hosted by one or more Friends, is held 'on location'.
The ambiance of the meetings creates a good breeding ground for strengthening existing ties and establishing new contacts. The meetings also constitute the right place and time for floating new ideas and developing initiatives that might benefit Tilburg University. In addition, members of the Circle of Friends receive invitations to attend academic sessions, such as the opening of the Academic Year, Foundation Day, and special conferences and lectures. They are also sent (special) publications of Tilburg University, and are thereby kept informed of relevant events and matters at and around the university.