‘It is a privilege as alumni to support our alma mater’
“I have a lot to thank Tilburg University for. Other people deserve that, too. That’s why I welcome a campaign like Have a Seat,” says alumnus and donor Oswald Coene. His name and that of his wife Annemie are on two chairs in CUBE with a message about friendship.
“Your college days are first and foremost about studying,” Oswald states. “But they are about a lot more besides. I look back on a special time in which friendships to last a lifetime were made and when I undertook lots of additional activities besides my studies, for instance, on the Board of T.S.C. St. Olof, together with Annemie. Even now, after thirty years, those contacts continue to be warm. The bond with your fellow fraternity members is particularly strong. You used to be constantly in each other’s company. But even with students you don’t know there is an invisible connection: you share that both of you went to Tilburg University.”
Apart from getting an education and building your character, a network develops that you can later rely on, both professionally and privately
Therefore, there is a quote about friendship at the back of the chairs they have adopted. Annemie’s is: ‘Une vie sans amie, c’est comme la gauche sans la droite’: life without friendship is like left without right. “Like Oswald, I cherish the friendships I made during my time as a student at Tilburg University and at my sorority at St. Olof. Friendships are so important. Apart from getting an education and building your character, a network develops that you can later rely on, both professionally and privately.” On Oswald’s chair, it says ‘Chin chin’. “To me, that stands for all the memorable, happy moments and special friendships forged in my college days, especially in my fraternity. Other people deserve that, too.”
Have a seat
At Have a seat, you adopt a chair for € 50 a year. The money goes to international students who do not have sufficient funding to do a Master’s in Tilburg, student athletes who need support to be able to participate in tournaments or training abroad, and students who need money to conclude their studies as a result of special circumstances beyond their control. Oswald: “We want to emphasize what a fine initiative this is. We see it as a privilege to be able to do this as alumni. It is good to support your alma mater. I think that all alumni who are in a position to contribute should do so.”
Take a seat in the lecture hall again too and adopt a chair!
Donation for concrete purpose
Oswald has been closely involved in the university for years. He was the chairman of Friends of Cobbenhagen for ten years, he and Annemie have been donors for years, and he was at the basis of the Outreaching program whereby talented students are given the opportunity to engage in additional activities besides their studies. “I have always advocated to make donations as concrete as possible so you see what the money is used for. This Christmas, we received a card from an international student who can develop himself further thanks to the Outreaching program. It gives us the feeling that what we do has a positive impact. That makes it concrete. The chair of Have a seat does the same, in a literal and figurative sense.”
The couple did well following their studies at Tilburg University. For instance, Oswald worked as a board member at Getronics and subsequently became the owner-manager of Koning & Hartman. He currently serves on the supervisory boards of various businesses and social organizations. After Law School, Annemie’s career proceeded in a different direction: she taught Dutch as a second language. She developed two schools that ultimately merged in TopTaal, a service institution for adult education in Dutch, where she is currently employed. After having lived in Bussum for many years, Annemie, Oswald, and their three children moved to Amsterdam 18 months ago.
Become a donor
With your donation to Tilburg University you can give different projects a helping hand. Projects that can achieve so much more with a small financial boost. Or initiatives that need a financial contribution to start.
Date of publication: 16 September 2022