On Tuesday 25 October 1988, AEGEE-Groningen was founded by a group of Europe enthusiasts, including Michiel van Dam, Arend-Jan Nijhuis, Andrea Wotte, Marike van der Tol and Jurgen Friedrichs. This moment took place in café De Sleutel at Noorderhaven. AEGEE-Groningen is therefore one of the younger student organizations in Groningen. Currently, two of the founders are honorary members of AEGEE-Groningen, Michiel van Dam and Arend-Jan Nijhuis.
The AEGEE-Congress Foundation was established on April 17, 1989 to cover the financial risk for AEGEE-Groningen at major congresses. In May, the association had 41 members. After the first meeting about Summer Universities in the same month – a kind of ‘SU info evening” avant la lettre – the number of members had doubled. At the end of the month, the association had 110 members and was recognized by the University as a student organization.
From 24 till 26 October of the same year, the first congress entitled “Is the Future Southward Bound?” was organized. By this event, AEGEE-Groningen got the status of antenna. This conference was among others supported by Kodak and Shell. These developments had an increased number of members as result.
In August 1991, the first Summer University was held in Groningen with participants from Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Poland and Russia. During this two-week event, the participants learned English and slept as usual at members’ homes. In October 1991, the first “Gronoloog” was published, which included a report on a Summer University in Budapest and the first Summer University in Groningen.
From 1992, AEGEE-Groningen began to develop itself on a local level; more local activities were being organized and different working groups were created. The first Almanak appeared in February of that year. A month later, the Rules of Procedure came out. In September, it was decided to organize weekly drinks from now on. The number of committee members tripled in 1993, which caused problems. During the GMA of March 23 1993, a counter-board was present, but the current board remained. Furthermore, a Summer University was organized with the theme “Navigation”. This was also the first year in which water sports began to play an important role in our Summer University. In September 1993, the first introduction weekend was organized for new members and the social drink moved to the Boston café. To celebrate AEGEE-Groningen’s first lustrum, a congress called “Japanese companies in Europe” was organized on the 21st and 22nd of October.
In the first years after the turn of the century, the association found itself in a deplorable situation; a falling number of members, virtually no more active members and little interest in board positions. At the lowest point in 2002, the association had only 120 members. Since 2003, no Almanak has been released within AEGEE-Groningen. Traditionally, this yearbook was released once a year. In the year 2003-2004, no Treasurer could be found. Therefore Bart Cramer, President in 2002-2003, offered to do another board year as Treasurer. Partly because of this and the fact that thanks to him the association got back on track, he has been appointed as a honorary member of AEGEE-Groningen.
Over the years, there have been a number of members who have made an extraordinary effort for the association. These are:
- Bart Cramer (honorary member since 2006)
- Arend-Jan Nijhuis (founder)
- Michiel van Dam (founder)