Stellenbosch University's Development and Alumni Relations Division is bringing Maties together wherever they may find themselves in the world.
In February this year, the Division, in collaboration with Matie volunteers, launched four new hubs and chapters in South Africa to provide the opportunity for alumni with diverse interests, ambitions and from various industries to engage with one another, share memories, and revive the connection with their alma mater.
The newly launched chapters are the Pietermaritzburg and Durban Chapters that form part of the KwaZulu-Natal Hub and the East London and Gqeberha Chapters that form part of the Eastern Cape Maties Alumni Hub. In 2021, new hubs and chapters were established in Pretoria, Johannesburg, the Southern Suburbs and Northern Suburbs of Cape Town, Elgin and Gansbaai and there are more to come.
According to Ferdi van Dyk, Alumni Relations Co-ordinator at SU, hubs and chapters will be launched in the coming months in Stellenbosch, Paarl, the West Coast, and the Atlantic Seaboard. “We do, however, need Matie volunteers to keep the momentum going and we urge any Matie to contact us if they would like to volunteer to get involved in any alumni hubs and chapters."
Van Dyk explains: “Alumni hubs are the 'mother body' in a specific region, while chapters are organised within smaller areas within the bigger region. For instance – we have the Eastern Cape Maties Alumni Hub, but because this region is so vast and Maties are scattered all over that province, the hub is made up of smaller chapters such as Gqeberha and East London."
While many international alumni events have been held over the past 10 years and more, plans are also afoot to launch chapters in the Netherlands, Belgium, Paris, Norway, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark and Sweden. London, Oxford and Dublin are all vibrant networks of Maties and Hong Kong has had a small but committed chapter for some years now.
Washington DC and Denver Matie Alumni Chapters were also recently launched. In the United States, the chapters in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston and Kansas City are building up, while in Canada, chapters in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary were somewhat derailed during COVID but have been going for the past four years.
Karen Bruns, Senior Director of Development and Alumni Relations at SU, says the Maties network create opportunities for alumni to tap into Maties expertise across diverse professional sectors. "These hubs and chapters open doors for alumni to network on a business level, to build lasting friendships with other alumni in a specific area and create a platform where any new alumnus/a is guaranteed of friendly faces and sound advice, especially if they find themselves in unfamiliar surroundings."
Currently there is a network of alumni structures in over 25 centres around the world. Many social events, thought leadership and professional development programmes are offered nationally, internationally, and online each year through these networks. The Stellenbosch Women Alumnae Network (SWAN) and the Young Alumni Programme (YAP) are both exciting flagship programmes which are incorporated into each of the hubs and chapters.
Maties who would you like to establish or join a hub or chapter in their area can send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. The SU Alumni Relations team is ready to help and support every step of the way.