Nyenrode University Delegation Visit

NYC, Atlanta, Washington DC and Boston

25 March – 1 April, 2022


NYC 25-27 March 2022 – City-Ambassador: Andy Bender, AFNU Member & NAF Chairman

On Friday March 25th at 3pm, most of the freshly-arrived Nyenrode Delegation (Bo van der Rhee, Louise Out van Staveren BBA84 & Anouk Reitsma) met with Andy Bender at the Harvard Club.  There, the group synched up with respect to the messages to be delivered at the first event, an Alumni Cocktail at Alex Roepers’ midtown residence. Nyenrode President Koen Becking was still en route, and would meet his team at Alex’.

By 5pm that day, at least 18 Nyenrode alumni and some other invitees congregated at Alex Roepers’ apartment on the 81st floor, offering spectacular views over the city and Central Park.  Host Alex Roepers (BBA77) welcomed Johan de Voogd (NOIB65), Gerry Vos (BBA75), Jack Roepers (BBA76), Raymond Jacobs (BBA81), Andy Bender (BBA83), Anne Lawrence (aka Anne-Marijke van Reesch, BBA84), Caroline Brons (BBA86), Ron van Gent (BBA87), Gerwin Janssen (BBA89), Theresa Buell (BBA89), Lisette Ditters (IDP93), Arjan Dorrestijn (IDP96), Remco de Rechter (IDP98), Priscilla Bender (IDP04), Floriaan Tasche (PTMBA08), Kevin de Wolf (BSc Acc08, MSc Acc12), Louise Out (BBA84).  With most attendees checked-in, Alex opened with a welcome speech, followed by Andy introducing the Nyenrode team.

Koen outlined Nyenrode’s near-term strategy and the importance to actively reconnect with its alumni.  Bo van der Rhee then clarified the university’s Research Thrust and outlined the investments Nyenrode is making toward this objective, the number of research projects underway, and initial results these are delivering concerning Nyenrode’s academic ranking.  Louise Out van Staveren (Director, Alumni+External Relations & Fundraising) wrapped up the formal presentations by providing financial highlights, the importance of revolving scholarships, targeted research and the budgets necessary for these, stressing the need for alumni support.  All those present engaged in a spirited Q&A-session which lasted more than one hour, quizzing the Nyenrode officials on a variety of topics.

On Saturday morning, the Nyenrode Quartet was treated to a bird’s eye view of New York City. Along with their expert guide Andy, they flew down the Hudson River, circled the Statue of Liberty, past the Verrazano Bridge, and crossed Central Park before returning to White Plains Airport.  From there, all proceeded to the Bronxville Field Club, where Priscilla & Andy Bender hosted a lunch for the Nyenrode delegation and the AFNU Board of Directors (represented that day by Founder Johan de Voogd, immediate past-Chairman Sander Spierings, Treasurer Remco de Rechter, and Jack Roepers, the Board’s Secretary).

The smaller group, and the more intimate setting around a long table, allowed for a more in-depth discussion on the topics broached the previous day.

On Sunday the 27th, the Nyenrode team hosted a lunch (at the Library Hotel in midtown Manhattan) for some alumni who had expressed interest in greater detail on how to possibly support Nyenrode’s strategic objectives going forward.  Seven alumni (Andy Bender - BBA83, Johan de Voogd - NOIB65, Monique Hesseling - BBA83, Carolyn Jacobs - IBP84, Marc der Kinderen - IMBA91, Kevin de Wolf - BSc08 Acc MSc12 Acc, Louise Out - BBA84) attended this event, and judging by the various commitments to financially support Koen’s strategy, this gathering, also, was a success.  Later that evening, Koen, Bo and Louise flew to Atlanta, whilst Anouk returned to NL.


ATLANTA 28-29 March 2022 – City-Ambassador: Bill Huber, Chairman AFNU

The day started slow, since there were a few last-minute cancellations due to illness and scheduling conflicts.  The morning event with alumni, local business persons and an Agnes Scott College administrator had been planned for +/-10 attendees.  This made for a more intimate and thoughtful exchange of ideas between the alumni and Nyenrode’s Development Director, Louise.  We also shared useful suggestions and actionable recommendations with respect to student-exchange programs.

After a walk through Atlanta’s beautiful Piedmont Park, the late-afternoon event hosted by The Netherlands Consul General’s Office was well attended.  Alumni and key university representatives showed great interest in learning about Nyenrode’s international business and exchange study programs. Key university faculty and international program administrators have since the meeting connected with Bill Huber and Koen Becking to continue the discussions.

Attendees included Ard van der Vorst - Netherlands Consul General South-East USA;  Alumnus Jan Willem Smeulers - NOIB69 - Former President KLM North America;  Claire Sterk - Former President Emory University (and Dutchie);  Brian Mitchell - Emory University Head of Goizueta Global Strategy & Initiatives and Head of Full-Time MBA Programs;  Katie Busch - Executive Director of International Advancement and Constituent Engagement Emory University; Maarten van der Putten - NNBS2014 – Alumnus; Carolyn Train - IBP 76 - Alumna; Steef Schelke IBP86 - Alumnus; and Dr. Gundolf Graml - Associate Vice President/Dean for Curriculum & Strategic Initiatives / Senior International Officer, and several others.

ATHENS Tuesday 29 March 2022 – University of Georgia Faculty Lunch

After the short drive from Atlanta to Athens, we were greeted by Benjamin Ayers - Dean of the University of Georgia Terry College of Business; Mike Pfarrer - Associate Dean for Research and Executive Programs; Santanu Chatterjee - Associate Dean for Diversity, International and Master's Programs; Jennifer Chapman - International Programs Director and Henry Munneke - Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs.  A very productive exchange of views and experiences ensued, and follow-up communications on ideas about rebuilding the bridges between Nyenrode and The Terry College of Business are ongoing at this time.  All left hopeful for a future of valuable exchanges of students, ideas and partnership.     

WASHINGTON, DC, 30-31 March 2022 – City-Ambassador: Jack Roepers, AFNU Board Secretary

Late on the 29th, Team Nyenrode was met at Reagan National Airport and shuttled to The Georgetown Inn, where the program for the next two days was firmed up.  With a beautiful Wednesday morning unscripted, the visitors took advantage and walked The Mall, along the many monuments.  By 4pm all had regrouped at the home of Nadereh Chamlou & Jack Roepers, just across the Potomac River.

Other than President Koen Becking, Research Professor Bo v/d Rhee, Alumni+PublicRelations & Fundraising Director Louise Out, and Nadereh Chamlou, the DC-area Nyenrode Alumni cocktail brought together 14 alumni (below), a few spouses, 2 Netherland-America Foundation Members (Jim Dykstra of NAF Exec. Committee, and Prof. Alexander v/d Horst of GWU) and Bjorn Olaf Kuil (NL/MinBuZa envoy & Sr. Advisor to NL ExecDir at IADB), for a total of 20-25 attendees.

Alumni present: Axel Kirstetter, IMBA2002 & Sandy Vasan, IMBA2002 – Nyenrode Couple; Bill Oliver, IMBA1995 & Claudia Oliver, IMBA1994 – Nyenrode Couple; Bob Traa, BBA77, and his wife Ximena; Evert Jenezon, Accounting 2007; Michael Larkum IMBA2008; Guido Bartels, MDP-IBM 1994; Eric Showalter, 1995, and his wife Amy; Jos Jansen, BBA78; Kim Iskyan, IBP1990; Radek Ruhlmann, IMBA2008;  Jack Roepers, BBA76; Louise Out, BBA84

Last-minute regrets were received from Ingmar Leliveld, BBA88; Werner Jansen, NNBS2012; Mona Bector, IMBA1996; Jim Slattery, IBP1968-69; Theo de Wolff, BBA83

Jack opened with some background on www.AFNU.net, its charter/mission and its current “member” universe of 700+ Nyenrode alumni in North America.  He then asked Nadereh to say a few words about her involvement on Nyenrode’s International Advisory Board of which she has been a member since 2016.  She relayed that, most recently, this Board discussed the need for the university to become “less Dutch” (as one guest piped up “Nyenrode is world-famous in Holland” … incidentally, this quip had been heard at the 3/25 NYC cocktail also), re-establish actual premier exchange-programs, whilst stressing the university’s emphasis on research, improving student-diversity and quality, etc..

Then, Koen, Bo and Louise made their respective presentations (see NYC-section above), and here – also – a lively hour-long discussion ensued about Nyenrode’s leadership’s stepped-up focus on Research, Alumni-management, and the mission-critical need to simply more frequently interact with the university’s alumni, leveraging large alumni-clusters such as AFNU.  It was not before 830pm that the last guests departed.

On Thursday morning, Team Nyenrode was received at the tulip-inundated/decorated (15,000+) Ambassador’s Residence by NL Amb. Andre Haspels and recently-arrived Economic & Climate Minister Bart van Bolhuis.  Focus here was Research and the need to re-establish Nyenrode’s exchange network in the US.  Amb. Haspels suggested that NL Embassy plus its 5 stateside NL Consulates may be able to assist on various fronts before too long, as – for the first time – a dedicated Education Attache has been appointed, who will take up his/her charge at the NL Embassy within weeks.

From the NL Residence, we went to Georgetown’s Waterfront for a light lunch at Sequoia Restaurant.  1979-alumnus Jos Jansen (who had driven up from North Carolina for the McLean & DC events) and 1969 IBP-alumnus former Member of Congress (Kansas, 1983-95) and McLean-resident Jim Slattery joined Team Nyenrode, Nadereh & Jack.  Jim’s enthusiastic participation and colorful memories of his year at Nyenrode (just one example here: the self-caught-n-strangled Nyenrode-Estate-duck expertly prepared by Bistro Koos for Jim & friends’ ThxGiv dinner) nonetheless resulted in several actionable suggestions to explore a new exchange relationship with his alma mater, Washburn University.

Right after the Georgetown lunch, Koen & crew set off for the airport, where a slightly longer wait was theirs before some serious weather (rain, heavy winds & a baby tornado nearby) had passed.  In the end, they made it to Boston only 1.5hrs late.


BOSTON 1 APRIL 2022 – City Ambassador: Ellen Teunissen-Kooloos, AFNU Board Member

On Friday April 1st, the Nyenrode delegation started the day with a visit to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge.  Tour Guide Ellen shared some facts on MIT’s strong global standing, such as its 4.1% admission rate for the Class of 2025, its 98 Nobel Laureates, its 15,700 employees, its ~7300 graduate & 4600+ undergraduate students (latter with a 3:1 student-to-faculty ratio), an Endowment of USD27B, and 12 full-time Resource Development Teams working MIT’s development and fundraising activities.

After exploring MIT's urban campus and getting a feel for the innovation, research and cutting-edge tech this university is breathing, the group headed to Ellen’s home for a 2-hour informal lunch with 5 alumni from the eighties: Paul van der Maas (BBA 1985), Mireille Hoes (BBA 1986), Kai Grünewald (BBA 1985), Ernst Teunissen (BBA 1984) en Ellen Teunissen-Kooloos (BBA 1983).  The discussion here centered on Nyenrode’s current strategy, its ambitions and the feasibility of those ambitions.

Later that afternoon (5-8.30pm), 15 alumni and 1 former Nyenrode employee, all from greater-Boston, enjoyed drinks and delicious food at the same venue.  There were 2 alums from 1956, and several from the sixties, seventies, eighties & nineties; the youngest was from 2002.  John Dirks (1956), Jaap van Hell (1956), Henry Paap (1962), Guus Driessen (1972), James Ray (1974), Rudie Lion (1982), Monica Portegies-Delaporta (1983), Ellen Teunissen-Kooloos (1983), Ernst Teunissen (1984), Kai Grünewald (1985), Rick Delaporta (1990), Eliza Gazda (1994), Greame Rockett (1995), Shenlay Rockett (worked at Nyenrode from 1995-1997), Craig Mullett (1998) and Elena Gantvarg (2002).

Ellen welcomed all, explained the role www.AFNU.net plays as supporter of and advisor to Nyenrode, emphasizing the importance of staying connected with an up-to-date email address.  She was followed by Koen, who gave a brief Nyenrode update and summarized its strategy for the next 3 years.  Bo explained why the university needs funds for the stepped-up research program, and Louise highlighted how Alumni & Public Relations form the foundation for the fundraising efforts Nyenrode is now developing.

A series of involved and probing questions was asked from Koen, and several alumni offered to think along about the new VC initiative.  Many of ‘the other alma maters’ of the Nyenrode-alums present have already developed some VC-activity, so they were glad to hear that Nyenrode had now started its own; some alumni expressed interest to invest in this fund.

Beyond this, we noted an overall appreciation for the fact that Nyenrode had made the effort to reach out to them.  All those present confirmed keenness to stay involved and connected with Nyenrode and said to be looking forward to the next alumni event.  Koen flew back to NL later that evening, whilst Louise & Bo returned the following day.