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Season’s greetings from our Chairperson, Hollis Kurman

    Dear Ivy Circle Members, Partners and Friends,

    We miss you! As this year draws to a close, it feels like a transition of sorts. The pandemic is not over (and may never be), but life has returned in fits and starts as we reach out again to reconnect. The Ivy Circle, while still active, has yet to find its ‘post-pandemic’ footing and an optimal balance between physical and virtual gatherings. As always, we are grateful to our active members and partners for their creativity and engagement. Now it’s time to spread that energy throughout our wonderful community. Please let us know what you’ve been up to – and what ideas you have for the year ahead. From our end, here are a few 2022 highlights we’d like to share:

    It was expected that the Amsterdam MBA Fair could return to a physical format in June 2022 following 2 years of virtual editions. However, remaining local COVID restrictions were only relaxed in March, resulting in insufficient lead time for several participating business schools to commit to the Fair or to plan travel schedules. Accordingly, it was decided to skip this year and plan the next Amsterdam MBA Fair in June 2023. Stay tuned…!

    The Undergraduate Fair (College Night), now organized by Fulbright/EducationUSA, returned to a physical format after 2 virtual years and was held in Utrecht on September 26 with admissions representatives from 25 participating US schools.

    Please join us in congratulating this year’s Ivy Circle-Fulbright grantees: Claire van den Helder (University of Illinois Chicago, Master in Disability Studies) for the graduate grant and Anna Menke (Princeton, Neuroscience…and rowing team!) for the Ivy Circle Fulbright Undergraduate grant. As always, we are proud, impressed, and humbled by the passion and achievements of these fantastic Fulbrighters.

    As for events, the pandemic inspired us to get outside together and get moving! Our (almost) monthlyIvy Walks have been lots of fun and a unique opportunity to meet new people from the IC community. From our kick-off Ivy Walk in Het Vondelpark to welcome spring on 21 March, we followed up with walks along the Amstel River, Westerpark, Sloterplas Lake, among others, followed by a spooky Halloween-themed Walk on 31 October. Most walks were capped off with cozy drinks and bites. Johns Hopkins SAIS Europe was also active this year, including Ivy Circle members in timely and thought-provoking events such as a conference on China as an Ascending Global Power and Implications for the West.Berkeley alum Christopher Mott also invited fellow IC alumni to join an AI summit, Grow with AI & Deep Tech: Logistics, Manufacturing, Commerce & Circularity. Penn-Wharton opened its ever-popular annual Boat Cruise to Ivy Circle members, and it filled up quickly. As always, we were also delighted to share partner news and events with our members. Partners such as the John Adams Institute, the Asser Institute, the NAF and the American Book Center always have exciting programs that we are welcome to join.

    Triggered by a request to set up Ivy Circle Denmark, we also met with Ivy Circle Deutschland founder Geoffrey Samuels to exchange ideas and best practices. Ideas included organizing family-friendly events, sustainability-themed events, and an Ivy Circle Europe virtual gathering.

    Our long cooperation with the US Diplomatic Mission continues. Although we had to put our Civility Panel initiative on hold for now (in the wake of the war in Ukraine and transitions at the US Embassy and Consulate), we are exploring ways to deepen our cooperation this coming year. Meanwhile, we are delighted to welcome new US Ambassador Shefali Razdan Duggal and US Consul General Kate Nanavatty, who will be joining the Ivy Circle Advisory Board and has offered to host an IC event at the beautiful US Consulate on Museumplein.

    For a full overview of activities please keep an eye on the monthly IC newsletters, the IC website and Facebook/LinkedIn accounts. As always, we’d love to hear and help spread your news, as well, so please keep sharing! Likewise, if you are interested in getting more involved – and perhaps to lead an upcoming Ivy Walk (date/theme/location up to you!).

    Finally, we have two Board transitions to report. The Ivy Circle Board welcomes Omer Pelman (Berkeley) as Treasurer, replacing Mark Reijerkerk as Mark now juggles work responsibilities with a growing family. We are also seeking a Young Alumni Coordinator to replace Tim Oldeman (Cornell), who will be stepping down after six years leading the charge to focus on exciting start-up challenges. Heartfelt thanks to both Mark and Tim for their valuable contributions to the Ivy Circle over the years.

    On behalf of the Ivy Circle Board, I wish you all a joyous holiday season, wherever and however you may spend it. Let this New Year be a healthy and fruitful one – and bring peace at last.

    Looking forward to seeing more of you in 2023,

    Hollis Kurman, Chairperson, Ivy Circle Netherlands

    The Ivy Circle Board
    Hollis Kurman, Chairperson
    John Terwilliger, Fairs Coordinator
    Anthonie Zoomers, Secretary
    Omer Pelman, Treasurer
    Klaus Harm and Flor Macías Delgado, Communications
    Tim Oldeman, Young Alumni Affairs (outgoing)
    Sukai Ceesay, Alumni Engagement
    Rebecca Anderson and Aydan Figaroa, Events Coordinators