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JUNE 2020

Corona - Expanding our network to other states - Stay at home Museum - Signature event Krugman & De Grauwe
Young Alumni Committee - First webinar event

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CORONA: a new reality

Who would have thought in January that the world would be totally different a few months later? Our Chapter had to cancel or postpone a variety of live events, but we fully intend to resume when the circumstances are right. As the world has become more virtually connected, we are planning to take advantage of the opportunity to reach more alumni in the US, especially those based outside the Tri-State region. Keep on reading to find out more about our first online event!

KU Leuven is on the forefront of the fight against corona. See e.g. a great overview on what our fantastic scientists are doing here

Other interesting links:
Belgium puts Supercomputer to use in the fight against corona.

Bill Gates seeks a cure for the corona virus in Leuven.


The Macro-Economic Impact of COVID-19
June 25, 11AM EST [New York] -- Webinar

This debate is our first online event and will feature the economic impact of COVID-19, a global threat unseen in the past 75 years. We have gathered a group of distinghuished speakers from the financial community, moderated by our own Peter Vanham. This unique event will be introduced by our Rector Luc Sels.


Introduction, Rector Luc Sels, KU Leuven

Panel discussion with

  • Jan Van Hove, Chief Economist, KBC 
  • Daan Struyven, Senior Global Economist, Goldman Sachs
  • Jan Loeys, Managing Director & Sr. Advisor, Long-Term Strategy, J.P. Morgan
  • Nathalie Muylle, Federal Minister of Economic Affairs, Kingdom of Belgium

Moderated by Peter Vanham, Head of the International Media Council, World Economic Forum. 

More info on our events page.

This event will enable us to broaden our reach to alumni living in all of the US!

Reaching out to more alumni in the United States

Our Chapter was founded in New York City, home to the largest concentration of Leuven alumni in the USA. We currently reach about 350 people, from NY, NJ and CT. As a first step, we started a regional subchapter in Washington DC, to serve the Nation's Capital, southern Maryland and Northern Virginia. We hope more subchapters will follow.

Meanwhile, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are investigating new technologies for virtual events, or combined live-virtual events. Any suggestions are welcome. We are excited by the prospect of connecting with all alumni of KU Leuven, across the United States. The combined live-virtual event was in fact already tested at the Special Evening with Prof. Krugman and De Grauwe (Nov 1, 2019, see elsewhere in this newsletter and the Past events page). We hope to announce new and exciting news & events soon! 


The Chapter is especially committed towards young alumni. This can be done through connecting successful ("older") alumni in the USA and the world with young alumni, but also through organizing specific events to increase the binding between them. They are after all, our future, and they need to have a forum.

That is why we have set up a "Young Alumni Committee" to realize these objectives.

The Committee was originally created to serve the Millenial and Z generations, our events will be mostly geared towards their interests, although some events will be open for all alumni. Our objective is to strengthen the ties between young alumni, the US community, and the KU Leuven.

Themes/Activities: Social Events, Networking, Volunteering/Community Service, Professional/Career Development.

Young alumi meetup on March 5, New York.

VAN EYCK and Co. : visit our Flemish Masters from your home 

2020 is the "Van Eyck" year. The unique exhibiton in Ghent attracted enormous interest. Unfortunately, the corona lockdown changed everything. As a response, museums all over Belgium decided to increase the virtual visitor experience of (some of) their collections. 

Jan Van Eyck is probably the most famous painter of the 15th century in Western Europe. His exact birth date and place of birth is not known: likely 1380-90 and Maaseik.  He was well known during his lifetime, being the court painter of duke Philip The Good of Burgundy, and getting many orders for paintings during his life in Bruges. The painting above is - next to the "Lam Gods" - one of the most famous works:Virgin and Child with Canon van der Paele (1434-36, Groeningemuseum, Bruges).  

But there is so much more to enjoy, observe, study or contemplate on.
Here are some interesting links:

Royal Museums of fine Arts
Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen (backstage renovation)
Closer to Van Eyck (Lam Gods and more)
Stay at home musea
Museum M (Leuven)
Museum M - Arenberg virtual tour

Past: a special evening with Profs. Krugman & De Grauwe

November 1, 2019 - New York

Moderated by alumnus Peter Vanham, the evening was a lively discussion between two economics giants, Nobel prize winner Dr. Paul Krugman and our own Dr. Paul De Grauwe. The evening started with a networking reception, a lively gathering of alumni and friends of KU Leuven, including old students of Prof. De Grauwe who had a chance to meet their professor again.

The evening was sold out, but it can still be watched online here, together with an article written by Peter Vanham. 


[Source: www.kuleuven.be]

KU Leuven Institute LECTIO breathes new life into old texts and ideas

14 May 2020

LECTIO unlocks ideas and manuscripts from antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The researchers at LECTIO will be working with KU Leuven's unique and extremely extensive patrimony.

Over 200,000 participants for KU Leuven MOOCs

05 May 2020

Since launching its first MOOC in 2015, KU Leuven has reached no fewer than 200,000 participants in 175 countries. “This is one of the aspects through which the University wants to further strengthen its pioneering role in the field of educational technology”, says Vice Rector Piet Desmet.

Astronomers capture rare images of planet-forming disks around stars

30 Apr 2020

An international team of astronomers has captured fifteen images of the inner rims of planet-forming disks located hundreds of light years away.

Artificial intelligence experts join forces in Leuven.AI

09 Apr 2020

The KU Leuven Institute for Artificial Intelligence brings together AI experts from various disciplines, ranging from computer science to ethics.

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