Dear AUP Students and Parents,

I have been looking forward to sending a midsummer update to all of you with lots of good news to share, and then Nice happened so unexpectedly on Bastille Day last week. As are many of you, and as many of us were after Orlando, I am still in a state of disbelief at such senseless and deliberate killing. The world--witness to yet another act of abject violence against innocent bystanders--mourns with France.  
Although Bastille Day was a holiday and our summer students had the day off, they were in Paris enjoying the extraordinary fireworks over the Eiffel Tower. Classes were in session the next day and faculty were mobilized to support our students and to let us know if anyone needed extra help. Our counsellors and Student Development staff were on duty Friday to meet with any students who had concerns. Summer school was coming to its natural close anyway, with some students off on last field trips with faculty, others finishing course work in teams and individually, and still others enjoying their last taste of Paris’s lavender dusks in late summer. 
On another note, I am gratified to announce that AUP won the CASE International Circle of Excellence Silver Medal for Strategic and Crisis Communications this summer for our communications in the aftermath of the November 2015 Paris attacks. This year, AUP was the only institution outside the US, the UK, and the British Commonwealth to receive a CASE award. Here is an extract from the judges' report: "The judges thought this response to the Paris Terror Attacks represented a truly remarkable response to a horrible tragedy. The meaningful communication established with students and families has continued since November in the form of the President's monthly newsletter. The transparent, caring, and comprehensive nature of these letters chronicle the collective journey to keep the AUP community whole, safe and informed. Judges noted that the trust established with students and parents due to the open dialogue with the AUP community continues past the tragic events." Although we were very sad to have had to resort to such communication again this past week, parents wrote back expressing their confidence that their children were "associated with such a thoughtful and supportive school."  
On the real estate front, our renovated Grenelle Building is now finished, and this new center for teaching and mentoring is truly lovely. Out of the new windows, you can see the garden below in a way in which it was never before fully visible. The public spaces and classrooms are all we'd hoped for--each outfitted with new state-of-the-art technology. New furniture and a color scheme designed by our architectural firm in the US lend a note of brightness to this new facility. Faculty have begun slowly to move in to their new departmental spaces which will welcome our students in the fall. Fine Arts professor Jonathan Shimony will be in charge of filling the walls with student work and the gardens with sculpture. An Instagram wall will feature student photography beginning in September. 

My final bit of (personal) news--please indulge me here--is that I had the pleasure of attending an all-AUP marriage in June. My son Lucas Coleon married our Board Chair Ray Henze's daughter Allison on June 11 in Greenwich, CT in what all in attendance felt was a perfect wedding. Although Lucas and Allison did not know each other at AUP, I introduced them three years ago when I learned Allison was returning to NY. This may be the first time in history that a university president’s child and a board chair’s daughter married one another. In any case, the Association of Governing Boards, when queried, couldn’t find any evidence of conflict of interest! The weather was breathtaking, all the speeches articulate and heartfelt, and the young couple beautiful beyond belief. Their AUP story provided the frame of their narrative and did Ray and me proud.  
Wishing each of you a restful and productive summer wherever you find yourselves in the world, with much gratitude for the safety of our community during trying times. It was a year of many challenges, but AUP came through events far beyond our control with its usual buoyancy and resilience--largely thanks to its amazing student, staff, and faculty bodies. A place, after all, is its people.  


Our mailing address is:
The American University of Paris
5 Boulevard de la Tour-Maubourg
75007, Paris, France

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