On the occasion of our 8th lustrum, we have been featured in U-Today, the news medium of the University of Twente formerly known as 'UT nieuws'. We looked back on 40 years of Bekader and especially our journey since the last lustrum! Below you can find the translated article. The original article can be found here.
Alumni association Bekader, resurrected from the ashes, celebrates its birthday
Alumni association Bekader celebrates its eighth lustrum on Thursday 19 October with a conference. It would have made little difference if the association had been dissolved a few years ago. Chairman Jelle van Pijkeren (25), alumnus Industrial Engineering & Management, talks about the revival of Bekader.
What is Bekader for an association?
'We are an alumni association for the business administration and industrial engineering & management programmes and have existed since 22 April 1983. We have been bringing alumni together for forty years to talk about the UT and business administration. The fortieth anniversary is already behind us, but next Thursday we will celebrate that milestone with a conference.'
What is the added value of an alumni association?
'With Bekader, we focus on three important components: networking, professional development and social activities. Especially in the latter, the nostalgia of the association comes out nicely. In the past we were mainly an association for alumni, since 2018 we try to be there for the entire business administration branch. For students, alumni, education and research. All these groups can benefit from each other. For students, it is valuable to hear information and anecdotes from the past, while many alumni often seek graduates for a company. Alumni can once again play a role in education through guest lectures.'
To what extent has Bekader changed even more over the years?
'The funny thing is that we notice that a lot of it has remained the same. Just as in the early years, the importance of professional activities is great and the UT bond also remains a common denominator. What we have noticed in recent years is that it is difficult to keep members involved in an alumni association. Unlike a study association, you are not present on campus and the members live all over the country. In 2011 there was no board and then it was considered to dissolve the association. Success stands or falls with people who want to invest time in the association. We also had a hard time in 2018. Since then, we have been on an upward trend again.'
How did you manage that?
'In 2018, we made the choice to enter into a partnership with study association Stress and with the HBE department (High-tech Business and Entrepreneurship). That was a good choice. We form a joint board and are therefore less dependent on supporting people. At the moment we even have committees and about twenty active members. In total we have five hundred members and events are generally well attended. Next week we even expect more than a hundred people, we are very happy with that.'
What's on the agenda for October 19th?
'We are holding a conference with the theme 'social entrepreneurship', a theme that fits perfectly with business administration. Dennis Karpes, Johan Vollenbroek, Sjaak Vink and UT alumnus Aard Groen are present as speakers and Dolf Jansen talks things together as host. The music is provided by the Bartenders Reunion. We are holding the conference in the Geertekerk in Utrecht and expect a great day for everyone who cares about Bekader.'