Virtual Event

Local Chapters Meeting

Nov. 30, 2020 from 7 p.m.8 p.m.
Past event

Local Chapters Meeting  - Minutes & Takeaways 

Zoom Meeting 

                                              30 November 2020, 19:00 (CEST)


Alexander Zammit, Laura Alcaide (Madrid), Jean Gasc (London), Henning Aschtat (Dublin)

  1. Tour de Table – Chapter Lead Update

    1. Brussels - Carlo


  1. Madrid - Laura

Laura is currently in the process of setting up the AE FB page for Madrid. As is the case for everyone, all physical events are on hold. 

  1. London - Jean

Jean has been messaging ex-Culham students and groups which have lots of London-based AE Alumni. The AE London FB page has reached 250 likes. Jean explained the process of how he attained the ‘old’ FB page, which had 60 likes already. Jean then ‘revamped’ the FB page and messaged many contacts.  Jean is continuing to search for other people in London who are from ES Culham and other schools and wants to merge all the groups together. He does not want to post too much so as people do not lose interest. Waiting to get more reach before posting more updates.

  1. Netherlands - Thomas

(Sent via text:) Thomas still does not have access to the Amsterdam Alumni FB page. In the meantime, he has once again reached out to everyone registered to AE in the Hague via Facebook but received no reply. 

  1. Dublin - Henning

The AE Dublin Chapter FB page was created and has garnered 10 likes. Henning is looking to get as many people as possible, through his Trinity College contacts, but there are no physical meetings previewed as of yet (due to Covid-19). Henning will be creating a WhatsApp group (with already 15 people interested) to go along with the FB page.

  1. Greece (Athens/Thessaloniki) - Maria-Louiza

  1. Paris - Joana

  1. Frankfurt - Philip

  1. Stockholm - Oscar

  1. New AE Chapter Leads - US Chapters Introductory Meeting

Alexander reported on the very successful AE US Introductory (and informal) meeting on 22 November with 11 new interested, US-based AE alumni. These included: Juliet O'Brien (Vancouver); Skadi Tirpak (Miami); Denis Rufin (New Orleans); Diana Agostini (San Diego) Wulf Palinski (San Diego); Thérèse Fergo (Washington D.C); George Pavlidis (Washington, D.C. / Maryland) -; Francine Marx (Virginia); Chris Adami (Michigan); Max Likin (Seattle); Patricia Ris-Yarbrough (Mendocino, California)

AE President Reinhold Ziegler also attended this meeting where provided an introductory summary and official greeting. COSUP representative Valeria Martinez also participated in this meeting.

Everyone briefly presented themselves and explained how they would very much be interested in being part of the AE family and particularly in sharing their know-how, not only for networking purposes.

Along with these new chapters, there has been recent interest in creating AE Chapters in:

  1. AE Communications Update - Euralliance Mentorship Programme

Jean explained the new ‘Euralliance’ project. As an evolution of the ‘Eurolinks’ idea (or Seniors/Mentors programme) consisting of 3 main features: 

  • 1. The mentoring and ‘reverse-mentoring’ between the older ‘more qualified’ generation (mentors), for specified topics, and the younger recently-graduated alumni (mentees) for tech and/or other modern activities. 

  • 2. A platform to post job and internship opportunities

  • 3. Talks and webinars from ‘seniors’ to the Schools offering career paths and advice.

The goal of these ‘College & Career’ webinars is to reassure students and connect with them, telling them that a European education is a gift.  Our webinars will be diversified so that juniors and seniors in high-school have genuine choice.

Be sure to notify Jean Gasc if you wish to join the official working group of this programme. We can then proceed to have group video meetings before CA or general alumni meetings to assimilate our ideas.

The US AE alumni are really excited to share their know-how. They reiterated their desire to Reinhold to connect with the youngest generation and create loose links. 

To get the ball rolling, it is important for anyone interested to send a 30-second iPhone clip providing their name, place of graduation, current city, specialization, and what the webinar will be about. Perhaps, we will include them at the end of the 27 Dec Party (see below) just before Beethoven's Ode to Joy.

This is what we have so far as potential 'college & career' zoom webinars, with questions and answers from high-school students:


  • Francine Marx 'Legal Work and Finance in the US.'  Based in Virginia. She will share her experience working for French banks in Manhattan. She studied law in Switzerland then again in the US.

  • Diana Agostini 'How to apply to US colleges — undergraduate, graduate and business school' - She works in admissions at USD in San Diego. (Her sister might do one on working for Nike in the US—the world's biggest brand).

  • George Pavlidis, "I am an engineer now, where can I work?"   He lives in Maryland (DC area) and works a research scientist at a National Lab called NIST. (His brother is an associate professor and will do a presentation on a career in engineering in academia).

  • Max Likin 'Humanities vs. Hard Science' Based in Seattle.  On very real dilemmas for high-school students these days. At Stanford, 8 out of 10 students are now choosing hard science. The Humanities are dying, or are they? 

  • Frank Rogalla 'Water Management and Innovation.' Based in Madrid, he is a big international water management director with incomparable, state-of-the-art environmental knowledge. His dad was a German European Member of Parliament.

Ideally, it would be great if every chapter lead can also provide 30-second video as well. These can be used for multiple platforms later on:

EXAMPLE: "Hi, I'm [name] and I graduated in [city and year] and now I'm based in [city]. I'm grateful for my European education,  my former teachers, a real gift. I want to share some of my knowhow and I will speak on [.......]. But above all, I want to hear from you, and I will make every effort to answer your questions. That's my main goal.  Happy New Year! Keep Going! We love you!, etc "...

Laura Alcaide has agreed to send a video.

Laura explained that she had started a similar programme in Madrid. The main idea/logic followed the same concept (seniors assisting students). 

There needs to be an organized structure for this programme to succeed but already excellent signs of improvement due to interest shown from the US-based alumni and possible training programs. 

It was mentioned that the use of ‘Telegram’ app would be highly beneficial as every member would be able to see all the information that has been shared (and not just after they joined). The application has better privacy conditions as well. 

  1. AE Facebook Communication Update

Whilst sharing his screen, Jean presented an efficient way to create the AE FB page and how to manage it. (Important to include:

  • AE Logo (+ City name)

  • URL:  alumnieuropaeXXXXX(city)

  • AE Cover Screen of Chapter Lead’s choice

  • Fill in Information/About Section, Pin to top of page.

  • Remember to copy/paste ‘AE Website ‘Become a member’ URL Link: 

Future Chapters can copy/paste Jean’s AE London Info post to their FB page. 

  1. AE End of Year Christmas Zoom Party - 27 December 2020

As proposed by AE Board Member: Max Likin: 

The heart of the party will be music and a combination of group pictures showing the extraordinary diversity and legacy. This will be a Holiday Good Cheer get-together where each of you please contribute just one picture of your high school days—ideally group pictures.

Official class pictures with teachers would be invaluable! Pictures of small, tight groups of friends are also welcome.

Do you know someone who could line up and edit such a collection—zoom in, zoom out, pan left, pan right, extreme close ups etc WHITE FLASH next picture ? If we had just 50 pictures like this, we could tell some mighty fine story.  Each face is truly endearing and astonishing.

Alexander could mention where we are with the Chapter Updates during this meeting. 

Ideas for First impressions? Opening Shot: Currently in the process of trying to acquire an alumnus or alumna to open the party and greet everyone? (Ursula von der Leyen? Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck?...)

External—find one big Alumnus donor/sponsor, say, Bertelsmann Verlag? Ferrero? 

External—any kind of mass publicity strategy, marketing, and heavy reliance on social networking to spread the word so that people migrate from Facebook to our own ecosystem.

External—caring, thoughtful invitations. Do we invite present-day European high-school teachers to show our history and express our gratitude displaying memory lane pictures? 

Internal—mastering the Zoom technology, scrolling etc and having a trial run on December 20 to figure out the kinks for a big live event.

Internal—rigorous deadlines in early and mid December on the three essential components of the program.

Internal—Music is key. An end-of-the-year party has to be fun! Give us some overlapping rhythm & blues, disco beats, techno hits.

Thomas had proposed:

7:00 -7:15 Welcome 

7:15 - 7:30 Presentation of evening (ask people to send pictures) and donate

7:30 - 7:45 Music/musician 

7:45-  8:00 Kahoot quiz on ES

8:15 - 8:30 videos of ES

8:30 - 8:45 group chats

8:45 - 9:00 Photo presentations (that people have sent)

9:00 - late group chats

Carlo’s addition/counter-proposal:

a) Musician part: will it be live? If yes, the technical equipment on the musicians' side must be excellent and properly set up in advance and rehearsed, otherwise it will not sound nice. It should not be longer than a handful of minutes as most of the students and younger alumni have yet to survive a (classical) concert.

b) Video part: same as above, make sure the video is not too long, as the attention span of younger generations is tiny. Not more than 5 minutes here in my opinion.

c) Kahoot Quiz: This could be a major highlight in my eyes, especially for younger alumni (most of them having used it in school classes or at uni before, giving them a "Back to School"-vibe)! We should dedicate at least a half hour to it, if not longer! For my birthday we played Kahoot for over an hour, with different categories. I would offer myself to make the Kahoot Quiz :)

d) Group Chats: the possibility of making Breakout Rooms? It would allow the people present to "break out" in groups of ~5 and getting to know fellow alumni better

  1. AE LinkedIn Page(s)

Jean mentioned that Reinhold keeps sending him emails suggesting to expand the AE Linkedin page. The Current page is currently run by Thomas. 

Alexander thought to create separate ‘Showcase’ pages (which differentiates from the Main ‘Company page’) in order to have various ‘branches’, perhaps to showcase the Chapters. Important to discuss this topic with the AE Board.

  1. AE Local Chapter Article + FB Interview

The AE Chapter Article, written in September, will now feature in the upcoming Newsletter (which had been postponed by a few months). To promote the AE Chapters, and the article, Alexander will be interviewed by Katrin Hoppmann, where he will briefly present himself, his motivations and goals behind the chapters, taking into account the recent updates. This video will appear on the AE FB page and website.

Carlo Giudici had agreed (over text) to write the next Chapter update Article for the upcoming newsletter.

  1. Jacqueline Lonero

Reinhold (and previously Carlo) had introduced Alexander to Ms. Jacqueline Lonero, who has a very large and well-connected register of Alumni which she would like to invite to join us, many of whom could bolster our local chapters. She is also kind enough to help us. Reinhold had recently told her that they should meet the next time he is in Brussels. In the meantime, Alexander spoke to Jacqueline last week where she directed to a FB page with over 250 AE contacts.

  1. AOB

    1. Next call: tentative proposal for XX January 2021 (CEST).