Pembroke College has for many years offered vacation courses to international students who have contributed in many important ways to Pembroke’s recent history. Over the last ten years or so the International Programmes Department has focussed much of its energy on developing programmes which are truly ‘Cambridge’ in level, content and style and these courses have attracted first-rate students predominantly, at first, from the American Ivy League universities and now from all over the world. Many students report that the experience of a Pembroke programme ‘changed their lives’ and for some it proved to be a key step on the way to a postgraduate career either in Cambridge or at other UK universities.
Pembroke is thus in a unique position among the Cambridge colleges in having an additional group of alumni many of whom identify strongly with Pembroke and Cambridge. The College has decided to respond to and acknowledge this by setting up a new alumni organisation – the Pembroke College Circle – which will recognise this group of alumni as a unique part of Pembroke’s recent success and an important part of its future. Through the Pembroke College Circle the College aims to maintain contact with as many of these alumni as possible and to draw them closer to Pembroke’s regular alumni community across the world.
The creation of the Circle also allows Pembroke to reach out to another important constituency who might be called ‘Friends’ of Pembroke. There are many people who are not graduates but who through family, professional or business connections, or simply through friends, have become active and loyal supporters of the College. We hope that many of these too will appreciate a closer tie to the College which the Circle will provide.
Membership of the Circle is free and many of the benefits mirror those enjoyed by regular alumni; there will be shared events here in Cambridge and around the world and no doubt many new and exciting connections made.