Origins and History of the Oxford and Cambridge Club of Zurich

The Oxford and Cambridge Club of Zurich was founded by Dr Nick Jacobs in 2006.

The Club had its origins in the Zurich branch of the Cambridge Society. The Cambridge Society in Zurich had gone through cycles of activity and inactivity, the most recent cycle of activity starting when Jeevan Sellappah, Lindsey Munro, Anthony Thorn, and Nick Jacobs - unaware of the earlier history - started organising dinners and Drinks Evenings in October 2002.

From this restarting point, the Cambridge Society was organised around its website, eliminating most of the administrative overhead of running a club. Programs on the website accepted new members and sent out announcements of events. By using email exclusively, postage costs were eliminated and the entire cost of running the Club was reduced to the annual cost of renting the domain name (27 francs per year at that time). The website itself, at that time, ran on a computer in Nick's apartment.

Eventually Jeevan and Lindsey both left Switzerland, and Anthony Thorn (living in canton Zug) was less able to participate in Zurich events. Nick continued to run the Society and coordinate the active members who arranged events, but by 2005 it became clear to him that the Cambridge Society lacked a 'critical mass' of these active members. He therefore started to explore the possibility of converting the Zurich Cambridge Society into a joint Oxford and Cambridge club - following the pattern which had proved successful in Geneva for a long time.

An essential first step was to obtain the agreement of the then President of the Swiss branch of the Oxford University Society, Nancy Dargel. In the meantime, Nick started inviting Oxford alumni to dinners and other activities of the Cambridge Society. With the help of Jane Fox, the Secretary of the OUS, and Julia Xoudis, President of the Oxford and Cambridge Dining Club of Geneva, a meeting between Nick Jacobs and Nancy Dargel took place in Geneva in November 2005.

Nancy supported Nick's initiative, and the Oxford and Cambridge Dining Club of Zurich came into being in 2006. The first meeting - a dinner organised by Sabrina Henze - took place in November 2006. Since the Club arranges many kinds of events, not just dinners, the name was later changed to the Oxford and Cambridge Club of Zurich.

Nick remained as President for four years, and was succeeded by Dr Rebekka Greminger from January 2011.