The mark of an Illinois Institute of Technology education stretches throughout the world and alumni around the globe demonstrate its influence every day. Most recently, alumni in Europe joined together to form the European Alumni Association last fall.
One of the European Alumni Association’s main objectives is to connect international alumni and renew in them the sense of belonging they felt when they were students in Chicago. “That amazing experience in Chicago connected us for life, but European alumni tended to lose sight of one another when they went back to their home countries,” says Charlotte Leroy (LL.M. ’11), European Alumni Association president. To remedy this, Leroy helped to establish the association with the intent to encourage European Illinois Tech alumni to meet, network, and share their experiences. “We want to help them build upon the efforts they made while they were studying in Chicago and keep on developing their networks and careers.”
Though the organization is not even a year old, the members of the European Alumni Association assumed the huge undertaking of sponsoring the second Global Alumni Gathering, held in Paris from June 30 through July 2, 2017.
The event’s theme focused on global challenges—energy, health and wellness, security, and water—chosen because they mirror Illinois Tech’s Engineering Themes program, which explores areas that alumni, faculty, and partner schools can impact the entire global population.
“Global challenges involve everyone, regardless of where they come from or the field they studied or work in,” says Leroy. “It was a unifying theme that allowed for rich debates between engineers, architects, and lawyers from different countries—few other themes would have been that universal and allowed us to cross the lines so easily.” [Visit alumni.iit.edu/paris-2017 to view conference materials and photos from the event.]
The last Global Alumni Gathering was held in 2014 in Chicago and the next will be in 2019 at a location yet to be determined. In the meantime, connect with the Alumni Association through social media at alumni.iit.edu/connect or join the online community at alumni.iit.edu/login for information about local chapter involvement and alumni gatherings in your area.