Interested in pursuing a degree in France? Learn more about IAU's degree-granting branch, The American College of the Mediterranean

Bachelor's and Master's Programs

Alumni Newsletter

Edition no. 21 
February 2019

Table of Contents

On Campus at IAU Get Involved

Alumni Events Giving Back to IAU

News from Our Alumni

On Campus at IAU

Spring 2018 Lecture Series & Student Conference

IAU hosts lecture series, symposiums, and conferences each term with speakers from the IAU Faculty, Resident Fellows, Visiting Scholars, local community leaders, as well as experts in fields relevant to the current events of the region. IAU strives to remain active and engaged with the academic and cultural community of the region, and one way to achieve this is by maintaining an open and up-to-date dialogue for the student population.

View the Spring 2019 Lecture Series Schedule here.

French Honors Program

This spring semester, the French Honors Program welcomed 14 students from: Carthage College, Central Michigan University, College of William & Mary, Marchutz School of Fine Arts, Muhlenberg College, Towson University, Tufts University, University of Nebraska Lincoln et Wheaton College. Bienveneu et bon courage, tout le monde!

Global Wine Studies Students

J-Term 2019 Programs

Marchutz School Spring Cohort 

Alumni Events

You're Invited! Denver Alumni Reception - March 2019

Please join IAU leadership and faculty for this very special evening of light refreshments and drinks, an update on IAU's programming, and plenty of nostalgia. Details and a link to register are below. See you there!

Friday, March 29, 2019

The home of IAU alumna
Joyce McCarl Nielsen ('61-'62)
Denver, Colorado

*Exact address will be sent to registrants after registration*


$25 per person towards IAU student scholarships


Joyce McCarl Nielsen ('61-'62)
Steve and Barb McCarl ('58-'59)
Julie McCarl Brookes ('81-'82)

Register Now

Recap: New York Alumni Reception - October 3, 2018

Thank you to all alumni, guests and colleagues who could join us on October 3rd for our alumni reception at the beautiful and historic National Arts Club in New York City.  A special thanks to IAU alumna and Board of Trustees member Donna Manning, who generously hosted and sponsored the event.  

It was wonderful to hear stories from all of our alumni from across our 61-year history, and to see share some of IAU's newest initiatives with the alumni community. We were also very happy to have IAU Board President Marianne Keler, Board Member Lisa Anderson, and IAU’s own Yamina Boudellal in attendance.

To see photos from the event, please visit the IAU Flickr page.  

Recap: Mini Reunion in Aix-en-Provence: Class of 1959-1960

Recap: Mini Reunion in Seattle: Class of 1970-1971

Mark Your Calendar: Mini Reunion in Florida: Class of 1967-1968

Were you a student at IAU in the Fall of 1968 and Spring of 1967? Gerald York and Nina (Pinches) Berkheiser are organizing a reunion of the IAU class of 1967-1968. Details are below:

When: May 16-18, 2019
Where: St. Petersburg, Florida

Questions? Would you like to join?  Call, text, or email Gerald (270-925-5714 / or Nina (727-365-8062 / Interested in seeing your "La Cigale" yearbook from 1967-1968? Click here.


News from Our Alumni

Renée Van Vechten ('89): "Then and Now"


For "Then and Now" features, IAU generally asks alumni two questions, to tell a bit about themsleves and to see how their experiences with IAU shaped their lives afterward. Read on to see how Renée Van Vechten, alumna from Fall 1989, has incorporated her experiences in Aix into the rest of her life. 

IAU: Would you mind telling us about yourself?

   A long-time resident of San Diego, I'm a professor of Political Science who "supercommutes" to the University of Redlands (going on 14 years now), some 115 miles away in San Bernardino County -- a five-hour roundtrip that I do about 3 times a week. I teach a variety of classes in the field of American Politics, including Congress, California Politics, and Environmental Politics (for example), and last May I taught a class called "Politics and Art" to American students in Salzburg, Austria (for the 3rd time, a month-long May Term class). The 5th edition of my brief textbook, California Politics: A Primer, was just published. I play a leadership role in my professional association, APSA, helping to advance initiatives around teaching and learning.
    Our family lives on a hill in La Mesa where we can appreciate spectacular sunsets over San Diego County. "Family" includes my husband, Charlie, who faithfully wrote letters and called me weekly when I was in Aix -- we celebrated our 25th anniversary this year; Ava, our 17-year-old daughter who is a dynamite artist and makes perfect crêpes (better than I, and I learned when I was in Aix!);  Zach, going on 14, who is an ecology-minded young steward of the oceans; and Zara, the cat who blends into the natural granite boulders around our house.  I enjoy writing, photography, 80s music, a good wine or porter or stout, traveling, and staying fit (lots of great places to hike and walk in San Diego County). I'm also a breast cancer survivor, but that's another story!

IAU: How did your experience at IAU inform/shape/change/inspire the course of your life after studying in Aix?

   Living and learning in Aix shaped my habits of thinking and communicating in both obvious and subtle ways, cultivated in me an abiding appreciation for cultural difference, and gave me a lifelong craving for calissons. Next year it will be 30 years since I studied in Aix, but perhaps because I established familiar routines and friendships yet also tried to explore something new every day by confronting unfamiliar spaces and interacting with the people who inhabited them, the most poignant memories still seem fresh. Knowing the transformative effects of study abroad, I'm a more convincing advisor when I tell my students that "getting out of Dodge" and exploring a new country is "a must."
    IAU's enduring influence is most evident in the long-lasting friendship between Samia and me. In 1989 IAU had a "French Friend" program whereby French college students would be matched with American (IAU) students for the purposes of acclimating us to the town. They showed us where to grab coffee like a local, where the best nightclubs were, and some graciously invited us to dinner at their homes. Samia had been "assigned" to a classmate but we started hanging out with mutual friends. Later, in November 1989 as revolutionaries triumphed in East Berlin, I hastily organized a trip to witness the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, and Samia and her sister were part of our group of seven who quickly assembled. It took 24 hours to get there and we got the last hostel beds in the city, but it was worth it. We reveled in the joy of liberation, and cheered on those who were chipping and smashing the towering barrier. We really were witnesses to history in the making.
    Our bonds sealed through this adventure, Samia and I promised to stay connected when I departed in December, but this was the pre-social-media era when letter writing was the main mode of long-distance communication. We lost touch. 
     About 7 or 8 years ago Samia and I reconnected through Facebook. We both have kids about the same age, and maybe six years ago she asked if I knew where her daughter could study English. We invited her daughter to stay with us, and we spent a couple of thrilling weeks showing Lana around Southern California. For Samia and me, it was as if our friendship had come full circle--I had a few "wow" moments as I reminisced with Lana about my time in Aix. Two years later Samia and I were reunited after a quarter century; we welcomed her and both of her kids to San Diego (they all stayed with us)! We just hosted Lana a third time this summer, and over the years she has learned to speak English fluently and has become our French daughter and re-supplier of calissons. It's only a matter of time before our families are all reunited in Aix.

Lisa Abia Smith ('88): "Then and Now"

Nancy Reyering ('00): Then and Now

Brian Grogan ('71-'72, '81)
IAU Love Story: David and Rosemary Glatzel ('60-'61)
Todd Schack ('90-'91)


Get Involved

Degree Program Applications Open for the 2019-2020 Academic Year 

IAU now offers master's and bachelor's programs at its campus in Aix-en-Provence, France in a variety of subjects, including Fine Arts, French Studies, International Relations, and Art History through its degree-granting branch, the American College of the Mediterranean. If you have been dreaming of returning to Aix, now is your chance. Click below to learn more or begin an application. 

Learn More

Alumni Ambassador Program

The IAU Alumni Ambassador Program was established in 2010 so that former students could share their study abroad experience with prospective students, faculty, and study abroad office personnel on their home campus, as well as connect with other alumni to keep the IAU network strong. IAU Ambassadors are drawn from all IAU programs, academic disciplines, and class years. 

All alumni are welcome to join the Alumni Ambassador Program. For additional information, please contact IAU Admissions Coordinator, Arianna Zabriskie.

Host an Alumni Reception

IAU hosts alumni receptions each year in various cities around the U.S.  These events rely on the generosity of our alumni and partners, and the city where we choose to hold events usually depends on where we have someone willing to donate their time, energy, and space.

Are you interested in hosting an IAU alumni reception in your city? Contact or call 1.800.221.2051 to discuss possibilities. 

Giving Back to IAU

There are many ways to donate to IAU. Regardless of the amount or the form that a donation may take, IAU is deeply humbled by the action itself. Whether donors wish to honor or commemorate an individual, or contribute to buildings and classrooms through IAU's Naming and Legacy Opportunities, or help ensure the excellence of IAU programs for future generations of students, we invite potential donors to consider and select one or more of the donation opportunities listed below and on the IAU website. We sincerely thank you for your support.

Donate Now

Support IAU on Amazon Smile
Consider supporting IAU on Amazon Smile. You shop how you normally would on, and a percentage of the proceeds goes directly to IAU. 

Support IAU on Amazon Smile

The Yamina Boudellal Diversity Scholarship

In honor of Yamina Boudellal, for her forty-six years of untiring and devoted service to the students of the Institute for American Universities, a scholarship fund has been opened to assist students in studying abroad with IAU. Yamina's love of IAU will always inspire us!

Funds from this scholarship will be used to attract outstanding students from diverse backgrounds who are traditionally underrepresented in international education.

Since the scholarship fund was created in May 2017, we have raised over $15,000 to help send underrepresented students abroad! Contribute now to support this effort. 

Donate to the Yamina Boudellal Diversity Scholarship

IAU Legacy Giving: The Mont Sainte-Victoire Society

IAU is extremely grateful to our alumni and other supporters who have remembered the Institute with a gift in their will. The Mont Saint-Victoire Legacy Society is an association for donors who have included IAU in their estate plans through some form of planned gift or other charitable donation.

For more information about remembering IAU in your estate plans, please contact 
Kurt Schick, Dean of Alumni Affairs.

Do you have any updates or information you would like to share in the next alumni newsletter? Contact or call 1.800.221.2051 to share your store. We'd love to hear from you!