President's Speech Issue 13

This is it! For over 40 months Aerius has been on my mind daily, but now it is time to say goodbye. This may appear a bit dramatically, but that is definitely not the case. I’m stepping down with the best memories and the confidence that I’ll be invited for the 25-year-anniversary of Aerius (that’s in 22 years’ time, hmm), just because I know Aerius will still be alive and kicking. These last three years did not only rule out my best expectations of what was possible with this student organization, but also gave me the most learningful period of my life so far. Back in 1994 I expected a certain necessity for its presence, but the current statistics make me very proud to have been the leader of the pack who gave Aerius a position within the Dutch aviation related world.

This period impressed me that much because of, amongst others, the following highlights and achievements of Aerius:

* Creating a network of over 190 student members and more than 250 business contacts.
* A lot of own developed activities like StagAerius (the internship-programme which created over 54 internships
so far), theme days (I’ll never forget the visits to Fokker Aircraft, the Traffic Tower at Schiphol, the flight with
the Dutch Airforce to Eindhoven Airport, a.o.), and the lectures (even with a television appearance (for just a
couple of seconds, but still…)).
* The nine-month period as student-assistant of Prof. Jaap de Wit.
* The five studytrips I participated in: Boston, Brussels, Berlin, London and Florida.
* The three month internship period in the Caribbean for TMI.
* A total number of eight other trips abroad.
* The lasting friendships with many of the (former) board members.
* The creation of the Aerius Library.
* Our successful 2-day ‘Conference on Civil Aviation in the Modern World’, in May 1996.
* A respectable number of companies willing to support and sponsor us with all that we do.
* A great back-up team (the Aerius‘ Advisory board) of which, as a founder of Aerius, I have become a member
now as well.
* Not to forget the magazine I’m writing in, the Aerlines. It opened doors and convinced everyone we were taking
things seriously.

I found it all a most successful and learningful trip, but now it is, as I am finalizing my thesis, time to take off for the next scheduled flight, that is into the ‘real world’. I hope to get a bit of tailwind finding an interesting job within the Dutch aviation sector so I can stay in touch with most of you all.

It is pretty hard to thank everyone by name in this column, but there are a few that cannot be unmentioned: Cees van der Mark (our graphic specialist), Ada Kromhout (our general support in all at the Faculty) and Jaap de Wit (who looked after his ‘wild bunch’ with careful eyes and supporting hands). As Aerius became a ‘daytime job’ to me, it also affected the home front. I could always rely on them for a shoulder or a second opinion; Mam (the ‘English lady’ for all of us at Aerius), Dad, my brother René (who keeps the ‘Graafland-dynasty’ alive as he joined the Board recently) and my girl-friend Irma (always there…). Besides them I would like to thank everyone who helped us out, all the business contacts, the members of the Advisory Board and all the board members as well as the committee-members whom I had the privilege to work with.

As I, together with the treasurer Guido Hogen, resign some new faces enter the ring. As Ronald van Neerijnen has now become president (good luck fella…), his position as Vice has been taken by Robert-Paul van Tol. The new treasurer is Ewout Meijer and as I already mentioned, my brother René accepted the position of Internal and External Affairs. I wish all of them the best of luck, and I hope that they will keep up the Aerius spirit as I have done with all my heart and soul for the last three years.

Bye 4 now, but not 4 ever…..

Jeroen A. Graafland

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