October 1, 2021
Last week, Jacobs University alumni from all over the world came together for their traditional Homecoming activities. For the second year in a row, the reunion took place online, with a wide variety of events and discussion panels. The Jacobs Alumni Homecoming reunion is a tradition that has spanned over a decade at Jacobs University Bremen, with different formats and focal points.
Starting with the Jacobs Career Symposium, followed by Major and College Reunions, the celebrations came to a grand finale on Saturday, September 25th, at the Homecoming Main Event, featuring speeches, performances, and alumni networking opportunities. Alumni gathered for their celebratory reunion online from around the world, sending greetings and providing musical contributions. Bringing together all members of the Jacobs community, performances included musical interludes from three students and two alumni: Megan Gurra, Kuda Mandaza, Karim Abualrish, Owen Gurrey and Pablo Ochoa, along with a song from the university choir, J-Cappella. An event of Jacobs inclusivity indeed, the audience was a colorful mixture of alumni, friends of the university, past university presidents, donors, and employees. The evening host, Diana Wells from the class of 2013, brought back fond memories as she guided the audience through the evening.
In her keynote speech, Anca Dragan, who studied in Bremen-Grohn from 2006 to 2009, emphasized that she not only made friends for life at Jacobs University, but that the university also provided her with fundamental knowledge and opened many doors. One of those doors led her to California, where she is a computer scientist, leading a research lab for human-robot interaction in Berkeley at the renowned University of California.
Participants not only looked back with nostalgia regarding their years on campus, they also exchanged views on future developments of the university. In his speech, Managing Director Professor Thomas Auf der Heyde welcomed the Bremen Senate's decision in favor of Jacobs University's new majority shareholder, the Schaffhausen Institute of Technology Genossenschaft (SIT). "We are very pleased to have found a partner in SIT that shares our values," he said - and thanked the Alumni Association, which had constructively accompanied the search for investors.
Giving back to the community - that's a recurring theme of the Jacobs Alumni Homecoming festivities, which the Alumni Association focuses on, for example in the form of student scholarships. "I am particularly pleased to be able to award three alumni scholarships to students who embody the Jacobs spirit of diversity, transdisciplinarity, and community service in a special way," said Stefan Rustler, President of the Jacobs Alumni Association, during the Main Event. The three scholarships went out to Rubaa Yawar from Pakistan, Vivan Lopez from Honduras, and Nikol Kripa from Albania. In order to fund further scholarships, Jacobs students and alumni donated self-made artwork and contributed entertaining tutorials, like “how to DJ” and “how to mix cocktails,” and performances for the Art & Spark Auction during the event. Bids for the auction can still be submitted until the end of November at: https://jacobs-alumni.de/homecoming/2021/