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SAIS Europe Alumni Weekend

May 3-5, 2019

SAIS Europe held its annual alumni weekend recently, bringing together former students from across the world to celebrate the time they spent at the Bologna campus. The event welcomed more than 450 guests to reminisce on their SAIS Europe experience, share their professional and personal stories since graduating, and connect with current students as they prepare to become the next generation of alumni.

Alumni generously volunteered to host more than 30 career panels with current students on topics ranging from international development to the foreign service, energy and renewables to conflict management and more. A highlight of the weekend was the “Alumni Meet Future Alumni” event coordinated by the SAIS Europe Student Government Association that aimed to help current students understand how the SAIS Europe experience has shaped the lives of its alumni.

Professor Erik Jones (B’90), now Director of European and Eurasian Studies at SAIS Europe, shared his views on the importance of the event. “It is amazing how much our students can accomplish in so little time; it is also impressive how loyal they are to one-another and to the institution,” said Jones. Jones and his SAIS Europe classmates recently celebrated their 30th reunion, and as professor, Jones has had the opportunity to see three of the classes he taught have major reunions – the fifth, tenth, and fifteenth. “It was a really important opportunity for us to get together as a group, catch up on what people have been doing, remember old times, and plan for the future,” Jones added.

One of those classmates is Celina Realuyo (B'89, '90), Professor of Practice at the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies at the National Defense University. Realuyo delivered an impressive keynote address on “Following the Money Trail to Combat Terrorism, Crime, and Corruption.” She discussed the intersection of international relations, finance, and security issues in the fight against terrorism and organized crime with insights from the esteemed career of public service she has led since graduation.

The weekend included Director Michael Plummer’s State of the School Address and celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Bologna Class of 1969. Current students presented the 2019 SAIS Europe Journal of Global Affairs, titled “Emergence,” with articles exploring emerging actors, threats, means and opportunities across the globe. Another highlight was a special panel memorializing longtime professor Pierre Hassner. David W. Ellwood (B'71), Anna Maria Gentili (B'64, '65), Jacques Rupnik, and Aleksandr Smolar (B'72) contributed to a discussion on “Making Sense of a World of Passions.” Professor John L. Harper (B'76, '77, PhD'81), both a former student and colleague of Hassner moderated the event, which was supported by the Patrick McCarthy Fund.