“Alumni” comes from the Latin and literally means “the alimented ones.” In the Roman Empire this term designated war veterans, whose food was paid for out of the state treasury. In medieval Europe it was applied to gifted students in the monastery schools and universities who came from indigent families and were supported by their alma mater. It was in 1821 at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, that the first alumni club for former students was founded.

The Wissenschaftskolleg also nourishes its Fellows – four times a week at lunch and once a week at dinner and hopefully for an entire year in intellectual terms. The Newsletter of the Fellows’ Club, which was created two years ago by Reinhart Meyer-Kalkus and Adam Wilkins, was born of the wish to continue the nutritious intellectual interchange of Fellows from all disciplines and from every part of the world even after their departure from Berlin.    

The present fifth edition of the Newsletter has been prepared according to a new recipe. Illustrated with pictures and films, it has four different sections. “Moments” reports on special events in the academic year, e.g. Daniel Weary (Fellow 2015/16) describing the workshop “Animal Experimentation,” which was convened by Marc Viney (Fellow 2011/12) and Victo­ria Braithwaite (Fellow 2015/16). The article is likewise auspicious occasion for learning about our funding model Workshops of the Fellow Forum, to which all former Fellows can submit applications.

“Trajectories” describes the panorama of activities engaged in by former Fellows. Read for instance the report by William Marx (Fellow 2014/15) on the world premiere in Freiburg of Hans Thomalla’s opera Kaspar Hauser, which was written at the Kolleg in 2014/15.

Under the rubric “My favourite . . .” you can make the acquaintance of one of our current Fellows – beyond their official CV and scholarly publications – as they recommend a book, a particular locale or a preferred dish. This time the computer linguist Luc Steels (Fellow 2015/16) speaks of the Grunewaldkirche, his passion for Bach’s Passions and his friendship with the composer Michael Jarrell, whom Steels came to know during their year together in the Grunewald.

Because the way to someone’s heart is not only through their stomach, in “Nostalgia” we are attempting to awaken in you a bit of homesickness for Berlin and the Kolleg through photographic and cinematic pearls – in this issue we are featuring a legendary photograph of an era in which physical exercise and style went alongside.

The Newsletter should not only be for Fellows but written by present and former Fellows; our editorial staff would be very pleased with any ideas you might wish to forward or pieces you should like to submit.

Have fun reading the Newsletter . . . and while you’re at it, don’t forget to have a look at the Wissenschaftskolleg’s new Alumni Pages. They give you an overview of the various possibilities that former Fellows have for staying in contact with the Wissenschaftskolleg – namely through the Fellows’ Club, the annual Fellow meeting – this year from June, 23rd-25th, and much more.  

The Executive Board of the Fellows’ Club and the Editorial Team