The Wageningen Ambassadors are prominent alumni of Wageningen University & Research (WUR). They are all leaders in business, government and nonprofit sectors and are sympathetic towards WUR. With the deployment of their network, experience and financial resources, they aim to build a bridge between WUR and society.
The Wageningen Ambassadors were founded in 2003. The initiator was alumnus George Lubbers, whose idea of strengthening the bond between WUR and its most influential alumni in the Netherlands was immediately well-received by the former chairman Aalt Dijkhuizen of the Executive Board of WUR. Since then, the group has grown from 12 members from the very beginning to 40 members at this moment, and the entire WUR board is involved. The platform has contributed in various ways to the growth and prosperity of WUR.
Gerda Feunekes has been the chair and Tjapko Poppens vice-chair of the Wageningen Ambassadors since 2021.
With the deployment of their network, experience and financial resources, the Wageningen Ambassadors aim to build a bridge between WUR and society. The Ambassadors platform mainly functions as a catalyst for innovation processes. The members meet each other several times a year at exclusive meetings with a content-related component.
The nature, size and composition of the Ambassadors platform is organised in such a way that the limit is set at 50 members.
Topics that qualify for their support (in time or money)
• support important strategic choices for WUR
• are forward-oriented
• have added value and improve the reputation of WUR
• appeal to the content and involvement of the Ambassadors
• link to one of the following three pillers: 1) development of students through extracurricular activities, 2) form a bridge between WUR and society, 3) stimulating entrepreneurship
• lead to social impact for society
One or more Ambassadors are committed to a subject. Each project is carried out with the guidance of a contact person within WUR.
- WUR student challenges
coach at the Urban Greenhouse Challenge and the ReThink Waste Challenge
- Youth Food Lab
platform for teams of young innovators, researchers and startup entrepreneurs to turn ideas-phase solutions into a real business model.
- MSc Honors student mentorship program
contributing to the development of the leadership track
contributing to the organization of TEDx Wageningen University.
- Development series of Masterclasses "lessons learned"
- Wageningen Entrepreneurial Fellowship
The Wageningen Ambassadors are a giving circle. Contributions range from €1,500 for a basic gift to €5,000 for a company gift. Candidates are usually nominated.
In case you are interested to join, please contact Lies Boelrijk.