Swiss Friends of Oxford (SFOU) has successfully completed its fourth full year of operation. During 2021 SFOU has reached some significant milestones. It has already facilitated over CHF 4,500,000 in donations to Oxford University, its colleges and departments and distributed over CHF 5,000 in scholarship funds to Swiss-based students applying to Oxford. SFOU has grown its membership to 64 and has expanded its board by appointing Maria Mavridoglou and Anne Kriken Mann.
President of the Association Howard Rosen said: ‘It’s an important part of our mission that 50% of our membership fees are allocated to support Swiss-based students studying at Oxford. Switzerland is one of the philanthropic centres of the world and has detailed rules on the establishment and purposes of tax-exempt organisations. As such, SFOU permits Oxford University alumni and others based in Switzerland to make gifts and leave legacies in a tax efficient way as charitable donations to Oxford.’
Board member Guy Spier noted: ‘We now have a platform from which to give back to Oxford University, which has made such a difference to all our lives. As we look to the future, there will be many more opportunities to increase awareness of Oxford and help the next generation experience the same opportunities that we enjoyed.’
‘The most satisfying part of being a member of SFOU,’ said board member John Rolley, ’is the support we can give directly to students. Working with Oxford we have already identified students who are candidates for financial support, and the numbers we award scholarships to will only grow as we spread the word.’
A spokesperson from Oxford University, said: ‘SFOU is a wonderful model for other nonprofits, started by alumni with the objective of giving back to their university. Colleagues across the University and colleges were impressed when they started the association and are even more impressed that it has become a success, in spite of the pandemic. We are enormously grateful to the membership of SFOU for all their hard work and dedication.’
As I am sure you may know, it is 6th week here at Oxford and we have broken the back of Michaelmas Term and can now start contemplating the Christmas break.
This has been an extraordinary time and I would like to thank each and every one of you for all you have done to support our University and for your continued active participation in the alumni community – it means a great deal to all of us after the prolonged disruption of the pandemic.
I also wanted to let you know that it is being announced today that I have been appointed the 13th President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York. I will take up my post on 1 January 2023 at the conclusion of my seven year term here at Oxford at the end of December 2022. As many of you know, the Carnegie Corporation is a Foundation dedicated to promoting education, strengthening democracy and advancing international peace.
The process of choosing my successor is already well-advanced. A committee charged with nominating the next Vice-Chancellor, led by the Chancellor, began work in July this year. It is expected to submit a name to the University’s Congregation for approval in summer 2022.
My years at Oxford have been the highlight of my career and I have treasured my opportunities to engage with this remarkable alumni community. But it is too early for perorations. I fully intend to dedicate the next year to working as hard as ever, together with you, to advance the mission of this great university. At Carnegie I will be leading a Foundation dedicated to my twin passions of education and peace, but Oxford will never be far from my thoughts.
With warm wishes, Professor Louise Richardson Vice-Chancellor
SFOU is organising another virtual breakfast on 7th November 2021, from 9:30 until 10:45 (UK Time). Tom Fletcher CMG, Principal, Hertford College, and former British Ambassador, will be our host and guest speaker, talking on “The future of education “. The talk will be followed by a general discussion and questions.
The breakfast is open to all SFOU members and partners/guests and Swiss students currently studying in Oxford. To register, please email Bobby Holtzer at email@example.com and you will be sent joining details in due course.
Of course we should all still be eating breakfast together! And a breakfast is not Swiss without Birchermuesli. So please also e-mail your favourite Birchermuesli recipe to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will upload a selection of the best ones closer to the time.
On 17th March 2021 SFOU hosted a fascinating (virtual) evening with Sir Nigel Shadbolt, FREng FRS, Principal of Jesus College, and Professorial Research Fellow in the Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford, and Chairman of the Open Data Institute. Sir Nigel spoke brilliantly on “The Digital Ape: Being Human in the Age of AI”. A lively Q&A and discussion followed. Hopefully we can welcome Sir Nigel to Switzerland in person in the near future.
On 23rd October 2020 a discussion with Niklaus Nuspliger (Political Correspondent for the Swiss daily Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ) based in London), Prof. Kalypso Nicolaïdis (Universitx of Oxford), and Alexis Lautenberg (former Ambassador of Switzerland to the EU) took place. If you were not able to follow this please click on the link below:
The breakfast during the Meeting Minds weekend which was to have been hosted by John Bowers, QC, Principal, Brasenose College at the College has now been changed into a virtual breakfast, on 13th September, from 9:30 until 10:45 (UK Time). Prof Chris McKenna will also be participating as a guest speaker, talking on “Putting COVID-19 in context – its long-term impact on capitalism”. The talk will be followed by a general discussion and questions.
The breakfast is open to all SFOU members and
partners/guests and Swiss students currently studying in Oxford. To register,
please email Bobby Holtzer at email@example.com
and you will be sent joining details in due course.
Of course we should all still be eating breakfast together!
And a breakfast is not Swiss without Birchermuesli. So please also e-mail your
favourite Birchermuesli recipe to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will upload a selection of the best ones
closer to the time.
On Sunday, 19th January 2020 donors and members
attended the Swiss Friends of Oxford University Afternoon tea at the Baur au
Lac Club at the Sonnenberg Restaurant, in Zurich. Our Guest of Honour was Prof
Peter Tufano who gave an inspired short talk. All guests agreed that the
afternoon was a resounding success and worth repeating in the future.
SFOU held its second Swiss Alumni breakfast on 22nd
September, at Exeter College, Oxford to coincide with the Meeting Minds Oxford
alumni weekend. Kindly hosted by Professor Sir Rick Trainor, Rector of Exeter
College and SFOU President Howard Rosen attendees included Swiss alumni, Swiss
academics based in Oxford as well as students from the Oxford Swiss Society.
Save the date for our third Swiss Alumni breakfast which will take place on 13th
Lord (Ken) MacDonald, Warden of Wadham College addressed the Annual Dinner of SFOU in Geneva on 4th June. He spoke on “Free Speech in Universities” to 40 SFOU members and guests and then was the focus of an animated and Q & A session afterwards.