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    the University of Oxford

SFOU Pre-Davos Afternoon Tea

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.

Photo (from left): Guy Spier (Board member), John Rolley (Vice President), Prof Michael Hengartner, Rector of the University of Zurich, Prof Peter Tufano, Dean of the Saïd Business School , Howard Rosen, President

Swiss Alumni breakfast

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 September 2020!

Annual Dinner in Geneva

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.

SFOU Pre-Davos reception

On 21st January 2019, 70 donors and alumni attended the Swiss Friends drinks reception in Zurich, at which guests were treated to short talk from Oxford’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Louise Richardson.

4th February 2019

SFOU had its first breakfast at the University alumni weekend in Oxford on 16th September 2018

SFOU had its first breakfast at the University alumni weekend in Oxford on 16th September 2018. Kindly hosted by Mark Damazer, the Master of St Peter’s College, we were able to meet Swiss alumni as well as representatives from the Swiss Society in Oxford.
SFOU President Howard Rosen also had the chance to meet the University Chancellor, Lord Patten.

7th November 2018

First SFOU AGM and dinner



The Swiss Friends of Oxford University welcomed Professor Philip Howard, Director of the Oxford Internet Institute, as its guest speaker at the Association’s first ever dinner, held on 21 June in Zurich, following its first Annual General Meeting.

Close to twenty Oxford alumni and friends of the university listened intently to the latest findings on the impact of digital media on public life and elections around the world, and the use of new information technologies for lobbying, marketing, social control and civic engagement. Professor Howard provided detailed insights into the world of fake news, manipulation of opinions through social media, and the ethics of the internet.

Explaining the work of the OII, Oxford’s highly regarded multidisciplinary research and teaching department for the social science of the internet, Professor Howard described its various research projects and how it aims to positively shape the development of the digital world for the public good.

With each guest then invited to pose a question or make a comment, the evening turned into a lively and informative Oxford seminar – but with much better food.

The Second SFOU AGM and dinner will take place in June 2019, in Geneva.

21st June 2018


First event for Swiss supporters on the eve of the World Economic Forum

From left to right: Howard Rosen, President, SFOU;Prof Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor; John Rolley, Vice-President, SFOU Guy Spier, Board Member

The first ever event hosted by the newly created Swiss Friends of Oxford University (SFOU) saw Swiss supporters and friends gather on the eve of the 2018 World Economic Forum at a reception in Zurich hosted by Howard Rosen CBE, SFOU President and alumnus of Exeter College.

Welcoming the guests, Howard Rosen explained the significant tax benefits gained by donors giving to Oxford through SFOU. He added: “We’re not a fund-raising organization, nor a social club, but we are all friends, and we intend to have regular annual events.”

The evening’s guest of honour, Vice-Chancellor Professor Louise Richardson, thanked Howard Rosen and the SFOU Board for their support and commitment to encouraging more donors based in Switzerland to support the University and colleges.

The Vice-Chancellor spoke about the close links between Switzerland and Oxford, the positive impact of the University on the global economy, and the importance of maintaining Oxford’s world-class contribution to research and education.

The new association helps supporters in Switzerland to make tax-efficient donations to the University and colleges for capital projects, academic posts, scholarships and research programmes. It can accept gifts in kind and legacies, with no Swiss gifts tax due. Membership fees of the association will be used in part to provide financial support for Swiss-resident students through a scholarship fund.

To find out more about Swiss Friends of Oxford University, how to join the association, and future events, please visit the SFOU website: www.oxfordfriends.ch or e-mail: info@oxfordfriends.ch

22nd January 2018