Alumni contribute 26 million euros to new endowment fund

On the 104th Dies Natalis Erasmus University Rotterdam and Erasmus Trustfonds have launched the new campaign ‘Challenge Accepted’ with the ambition to create an endowment fund of EUR 100 million by 2025. Donors, mainly alumni of Erasmus School of Economics, have already contributed a total of more than EUR 26 million.

This endowment fund allows the university to carry out research and education activities with a clear social relevance. This independent income stream enables the University to perform ground-breaking research, draw world-class scientists to Rotterdam and support the best students with scholarships. It also reduces the University’s dependence on (declining) public funding.

Several alumni, with mainly an Erasmus School of Economics background, have already contributed a total of more than EUR 26 million. The donations range from several hundred thousand euros via 1 million to 5 million euros. Charles Hermans, Director Alumni Affairs & Development at Erasmus School of Economics, has played a key role by involving many of these alumni in the School’s activities in the last 9 years. A couple of names who donated were revealed during the Dies Natalis celebrations: Onno Ruding (former Minister of Finance and banker), Colette Cloosterman-van Eerd and Raymond Cloosterman (CEOs of supermarket chain Jumbo and Rituals, respectively), Frans van Houten (CEO of Philips NV) and Michiel Muller (serial entrepreneur and current president of the Erasmus Trustfonds).

Online community

In addition, Erasmus University and Erasmus Trustfonds have launched ‘EUR Connect’: an online community for alumni, students, scholars and everyone who feels ties with the University. Everyone can use share his or her knowledge, experience, network and useful contacts.