The first class at the Wissenschaftskolleg, that of 1981/82, already began thinking about founding an association of former Fellows to facilitate remaining in contact with the Kolleg and its Fellows.
The constituting meeting of the "Association of the Members and Friends of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin e.V. - Fellows' Club" - was held on July 13, 1984 at the Wissenschaftskolleg in the pressence of 21 Fellows from the first three classes. Some Fellows suggested giving the association the name 'Scholem Association' in memory of Gershom Scholem, who was a Fellow in the first class of 1981/82. But the majority preferred a different name.
The club was entered in the Associations Registry on March 26, 1985. In accordance with its Charter, the association pursues solely and directly charitable purposes (most recent change to the Charter: March 16, 2016)
The Fellows' Club primarily seeks to be of assistance in those instances when the Wissenschaftskolleg and its publicly sourced funding instruments run up against structural limitations. The Fellows' Club wishes to lend its support in a quick and easy fashion to former Fellows who find themselves in personal, professional or political distress, and so in its spirit we cultivate networks with programs such as Harvard Scholars at Risk.
It is particularly through regular events such as the "Fellowfest" or the "Berliner Abende" that the community of former and current Fellows is promoted and strengthened and that contacts are facilitated which link all Fellows across the years.