It is with great sadness that we learned that Cor Baayen, first president and co-founder of ERCIM, passed away on Wednesday, 22 May 2019. Baayen served as ERCIM president from 1991 to 1994. He was scientific director of CWI from 1980 to 1994. During this period, he played a key role in shaping computer science as a distinct scientific field. Under his leadership CWI transformed from a mathematical institute to a centre of expertise for both mathematics and computer science. Together with Alain Bensoussan from Inria and Gerhard Seegmüller from the former GMD, he founded ERCIM in 1989 with the aim of building a European scientific community in information technology.