By Sonja Grund
When I became head of the library of the Wissenschaftskolleg more than five years ago, I immediately had the happy feeling that I had found my niche. This library differs from many others because here the point is not primarily to collect books but to serve the people who read the books. In a similar spirit, since its founding, the interest of the Fellows’ Club has been to serve the community of Fellows; it creates and cultivates contacts among former and current Fellows and fosters the connection between Fellows and the Kolleg far beyond the time of their stay. For this reason, I was very pleased when, a few months ago, Reinhart Meyer-Kalkus asked me whether I would like to be his successor as Secretary of the Fellows’ Club after he retires and, subsequently, when his suggestion was endorsed so positively at the last Members’ Meeting.
As our first “official act”, we have revised the website and created a gallery of photos from the Fellows’ Club Meetings since the early 1980s. Rummaging in the photo archive was a fascinating journey in time through the history of the Kolleg, one that I would like to enable you to participate in, not least because it was a pleasure to see how many of you have kept returning to the Kolleg over the years. The gallery can now be viewed at: www.wiko-berlin.de/en/fellows/fellows-club/events/. In addition, we have gathered general information on the Club for you on the homepage http://www.wiko-berlin.de/en/fellows/fellows-club/club/ you will find membership declarations and donation forms in the area “Membership” http://www.wiko-berlin.de/en/fellows/fellows-club/membership/.
We will make a fundamental decision next year. For a long time, we have been considering how we can give the Fellows’ Club financial security, in order to satisfactorily fulfill its original purpose: to support the Wissenschaftskolleg and its Fellows where public monies cannot be used. In past years, donated money alone was not able to achieve this. The broad encouragement of the Members’ Meeting at this year’s Fellow Meeting has led us to begin planning the introduction of a fixed membership fee for 2016. For this, a change in the charter will be needed; we would like to resolve it with you at the next Members’ Meeting. At the same time, we have resolved to sharpen the Fellows’ Club’s profile by expanding the offerings that the Fellows’ Club makes to former Fellows and by communicating this information more transparently. We would be very happy to hear your suggestions, wishes, and expectations in this process.
Please make a note now of the dates of the next Fellows’ Meeting – 25-27 June 2015 – to which I cordially invite all of you.