In the summer of 1922, an idea took shape: Following the example of other universities, the Technical University of Munich decided to set up an “Bund der Freunde der TUM” (Friends of TUM). A preparatory committee consisting of 70 members – professors and former students of the university – was established, and the list of members reads like a “who’s who” of the German economy and engineering sciences of that time: MAN, Krupp, Hoechst, Siemens, Dyckerhoff, to name just a few of the most prominent names and companies.

The goals of the association – as defined in a formal letter to the former students, the patrons and friends of the “Technische Hochschule”, drafted in November 1922 – were to join forces in the field of technology, in theory and practice, in order to work for the good of the university, to promote its scientific and teaching-related tasks as well as to strengthen and awaken a sense of togetherness among all of its former members, their friends, the patrons and supporters.

Finally, the „Bund der Freunde der Technischen Hochschule München“ was founded on December 7, 1922. In the early years, the association counted about 1,400 members, including about 127 companies and organizations. Today, there are about 2,000 individual members and 120 companies. Many of the companies have been loyal members ever since the association was established.

The first chairman was Dr. Gottlieb Lippart, Director of MAN. Right from the beginning, the representatives of the Bavarian economy felt honored to be assigned to the Board of the “Bund der Freunde der TUM” (Friends of TUM). Johannes Hess, longtime General Manager of today’s “Wacker-Chemie”, was one of the first secretaries and then superseded Lippart as Chairman of the association (from 1930 to 1949). He was followed by Otto Mayer, the General Director of MAN, and then by Ernst Albrecht von Siemens (from 1961 to 1971). The next Chairman was Heinz Noris, CEO of the company “Held und Francke Bau AG” – followed by BMW-CEO Eberhard von Kuenheim (from 1987 to 1995), Prof. Dr. Johannes Kohl, CEO of Wacker-Chemie and Dr. Otto Majewski, former CEO of the “Bayernwerk AG” (from 1996 to 2002). From 2003 to 2008, it was Honorary Senator Prof. Dr. Burkhard Göschel, Board Member for Development at the BMW AG until 2006, who held the position. He was followed until 2016 by Dr.-Ing. Klaus Draeger, Board Member at the BMW AG. The position of Secretary was filled by members of the management of Wacker-Chemie for decades – and by board members of the BMW AG from 1995 to 2002.

The current Chairman is Dipl.-Ing. Markus Duesmann, Board Member for Purchasing and Supplier Network at the BMW AG. Traditionally, the current President of the university takes the position of the Vice Chairman. Gerhard Hess, honorary senator and lawyer, will take the position of the Secretary – and the position of Treasurer will be taken by Dr. Walter Prem. 

The “Bund der Freunde der TUM” (Friends of TUM) promotes contacts between universities and the economy – ideally and materially. The first half a million in donations was already reached during the period of the Reichsmark, before the end of World War II. From 1948 to 2010, the donations – primarily for research projects at TUM – reached a total of more than 7 million Euros.

In 2010, the “Bund der Freunde der TUM” (Friends of TUM) decided to carry a new logo – based on the TUM’s corporate design of the TUM so that the association would be easily recognizable as a member of the TUM-family. As early as in 2006, the design agency ediundsepp, a spin-off of young architects at TUM, had drafted the basic principles of the TUM’s new corporate design, which has become omnipresent throughout the university. The new logo of the “Bund der Freunde der TUM” (Friends of TUM) consists of a triangle, symbolizing all the people who are connected to the university, as well as a ring that is foreshortened in perspective, symbolizing their togetherness.