Fellows and significant others at Fellows’ Brunch in NYC


The BAEF Alumni Committee in the U.S. is delighted to wish everyone a fantastic 2012! We hope you enjoyed a peaceful and relaxing holiday season. Our Newsletter’s third edition features, yet again, the vitality of the BAEF family in the US and in Belgium. 2011 was a year full of connections. During the lively Welcome Reception at the Consul General’s residence in New York City and through our countrywide Host Program, fellows are welcomed by a growing number of alumni from all generations. In all corners of the United States, our gatherings celebrate a vibrant community of academics, professionals, scientists and entrepreneurs. And there is more to come this year! In New York City, we will organize a visit at the Rubin Museum, a renowned sanctuary for Himalayan art, on March 18. Across the country, local alumni cells are also enthusiastically planning new activities to strengthen the ties of our community and the friendships that underpins it. Please check out our upcoming events and connect with the alumni committee on Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/793qmhs) and with the BAEF on LinkedIn (http://tinyurl.com/7gfh3xm). We look forward to getting to know you or seeing you again over the course of this year. Jean Malpas, committee chair


BAEF @ THE RUBIN IN NEW YORK On Sunday, March 18 we are planning a visit to the Rubin Museum of Art for fellows and alumni in the New York City area. Please save the date! We will keep you posted as soon as we confirm the time. Located in the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan, the Rubin Museum is a cultural and educational institution dedicated to the art of the Himalayas. The artistic heritage of this vast and culturally varied area of the world remains relatively obscure. Through changing exhibitions and an array of engaging public programs, the museum offers opportunities to explore the artistic legacy of the Himalayan region and to appreciate its place in the context of world cultures. After an introduction by the Chief Curator Jan Van Alphen, we will have the opportunity to visit the museum’s permanent collection and special exhibitions on view. The Rubin Museum of Art, as described by New York Magazine: The Buddha works in mysterious ways. At the behest of energetic Jewish couple Shelley and Donald Rubin, the Enlightened One has symbolically claimed the former Barneys emporium in Chelsea, once the downtown center of hothouse fashion, and transformed Mammon into a temple of Himalayan art. The Rubin opened in October 2004 and houses about 2000 works in 25,000 square feet of exhibition space, with a central six-story spiral staircase. Though he admires scholarship, Donald Rubin does not want his museum to become forbiddingly academic. He emphasizes the living quality of Buddhist art, its ability, he says, to stimulate an “emotional rush” in viewers. The floor-wide exhibitions around the staircase are therefore organized by theme rather than by particular time or place. Rubin himself, who lost much of his family in the Holocaust and continues to be troubled by the eruptive violence in the human heart, takes a special interest in the demonic strains of Buddhist art: the nightmarish imagery represents a Buddhist’s determination to confront internal demon’s — and tame them. The six-story spiral staircase, originally designed by Andree Putman for the Barneys that previously inhabited the building, now suggests cycles, transcendence, and the rippling forms of Buddhist art. For more information about the Rubin Museum, go to http://www.rmanyc.org/ SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA The local cell in Southern California is planning to organize an event in the Los Angeles area. If you would like to help with the event, don’t hesitate to contact Lorenzo de Lichtervelde at ldelicht@scripps.edu.

Artwork and monumental staircase at the Rubin Museum of Art in NYC

ing can contact Stephanie Dupont at sdupont@stanford. edu or 650 868 8644. Separately, every other week, a Belgica lunch is organized on the Stanford Campus. There is also an active Facebook page on which all the “Belgica” activities are posted, in addition to a website: http://www.stanford.edu/group/belgica/ BOSTON ACTIVITIES In the near future, the Boston chapter is planning a joint social event with the Belgian American Society of New England (BASNE) and other events to introduce the Boston Belgians to favorite American pastimes, including sports games! 2

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA SKI TRIP AND REGULAR MEETINGS Due to the success of the ski trip last year, Belgica is planning another ski weekend to one of the resorts around North Lake Tahoe, CA. Anyone interested in join-

On October 14, 2011, Ambassador Herman Portocarero and Mrs. Portocarero hosted this year’s welcome reception for the BAEF Boat of 2011 at the Consul-General’s residence on Fifth Avenue. More than 100 people attended, including most of the region’s fellows and many BAEF alumni. Prof. Emile Boulpaep and several BAEF board members joined the event. In addition to the BAEF community, Ambassador Portocarero also invited other members of the vibrant Belgian community in New York to help improve the connectivity with the newlyarrived BAEF fellows. In his introductory remarks, Ambassador Portocarero lauded the BAEF’s “long and splendid track record as a bridge between Belgian and US universities” and committed to helping “add a closer interaction with Belgium’s economic operators”. Jean Malpas (Boat of 2000), as the chair of the BAEF U.S. Alumni Committee, welcomed the BAEF Boat of 2011 and thanked the Consul-General and his great team for hosting the event. As the captain of the Boat of 2011, Maite Forrez introduced the new fellows and encouraged them to stay connected with the growing BAEF family. The guests mingled and stayed late, enjoying the velvet atmosphere, as well as the opportunity to meet new people and catch up with old friends.

Prof. Boulpaep (BAEF Fellow 1964) with Yolande Daeninck (BAEF Fellow 2003), Maite Forrez (BAEF Fellow 2011) and Jean Malpas (BAEF Fellow 2000)

Prof. Boulpaep (BAEF Fellow 1964) with Laura De Winter (BAEF Fellow 2011) and Steffie De Backer (BAEF Fellow 2011)

Ambassador Portocarero with Maite Forrez (BAEF Fellow 2011)

Pieter-Augustijn Van Malleghem (BAEF Fellow 2011), a guest and Chloe Vander Velpen (BAEF Fellow 2011)


Francis Alÿs exhibit at the MoMA in New York: on July 31, a small group of BAEF alumni and fellows in the New York area met for an informal visit of the Francis Alÿs retrospective “Francis Alÿs, a story of deception” at the Museum of Modern Art. Francis Alÿs is a Belgian contemporary visual artist who has lived and worked in Mexico City for more than 20 years. The MoMA exhibit combined video installations capturing Alÿs’ performances, with some of his paintings, collages, photographs and drawings. After the exhibit, the group went for drinks and a light dinner at the Belgian restaurant BXL East. DC get-together: on September 10, BAEF alumni and fellows in DC gathered at the Biergarten Haus for an informal event. Several members of the BAEF community were also present at the Belgian Ambassador’s reception on September 21 for the Solar Decathlon solar house competition in which Team Belgium was the only team representing Europe. Boston meet-up: on September 24, the Boston chapter got together for drinks and dinner – also known as Beer Social – to welcome the new boat of BAEF fellows in Boston. Over 25 fellows and alumni came to Meadhall in Cambridge to enjoy gastropub food, Belgian beers and above all, each other’s company in an informal atmosphere. By all accounts everyone had a great time! Bay Area/San Francisco welcome: the annual welcome barbecue was held on October 7 at Stanford and was a great success! Belgian students and their relatives from USF, UC Berkeley and Stanford University were present. Fellows brunch in New York City: on November 13, the captain of the Boat of 2011, Maite Forrez, organized the first social event for the BAEF fellows in the NY area. Sixteen fellows and their partners got together in Sarabeth’s Tribeca for an amazing and delicious brunch in downtown Manhattan. During the three-course meal, they shared stories, exchanged experiences and even decided on the next get-together: a pick nick in Central Park during springtime. We hope to see even more fellows there! Saint-Nicholas in Boston: on December 9, the BAEFers in Boston gathered to celebrate a very Belgian holiday, Saint Nicolas/Sinterklaas, again at the Meadhall in Cambridge. They enjoyed a bistro-style dinner and drinks at this joint event with the Belgian American Society of New England (BASNE). The evening was a great success. BAEF fellows and alumni at BXL East in New York City after the Francis Alÿs exhibit in July

Alumni and fellows are present all over the country! If you’d like to know about BAEF activities in your area, please contact: • New York City: Yolande Daeninck (yd@tumuli.be) and Ben Sprangers (bensprangers@gmail .com) • DC/Mid-Atlantic: Christel Vermeersch (vermeersch@post.harvard.edu) and Marcelo Vinces (mdvinces@gmail.com) • Northern California: Stéphanie Dupont (sdupont@stanford.edu) • Southern California: Lorenzo de Lichtervelde (ldelicht@scripps.edu) • Boston-New England: Geraldine Van der Auwera (gege@me.com) • BAEF goes London: Julie recently moved back to Europe and, after co-chairing NY events, will now take charge of starting a new cell in London, UK! Stay tuned for upcoming activities and if you are in London and would like to get involved, please contact Julie on julievandenkieboom@gmail.com.


11TH ALUMNI REUNION AT THE UNIVERSITY FOUNDATION On November 25, 2011, Professor Pierre Vanderhaeghen, Francqui Prize 2011 and BAEF Fellow 1996, was the keynote speaker at the 11th BAEF Alumni Reunion in Brussels. He provided the alumni with clear insights into the major progress achieved by his laboratory in the use of stem cells for nervous tissue regeneration in the cerebral cortex. His talk “From stem cells to brain circuits” opened a vista of hope for future therapeutic interventions in neurodegenerative disease. The many alumni in attendance were captivated by Prof. Vanderhaeghen’s and his team’s trail-blazing research. Peter Grognard (BAEF Fellow 1992) and Prof. Pierre Vanderhaeghen (BAEF Fellow 1996) BOAT REUNION 1960-1961 On November 22, 2011, a lunch with the Belgian BAEF Board members was organized in Brussels to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the boats of 1960 and 1961. In attendance from the boat of 1960 were Baron Daniel Janssen, Mr. Jean-René Degand, Mr. Jean-Benoît Sepulchre and Mr. Jozef Van Ginderachter, as well as Rector Marcel Crochet, Prof. Jean-Jacques Lambin and Prof. Achiel van Cauwenberghe from the boat of 1961.

Our alumni network is probably one of the most diverse and talented networks in Belgium. Social networking tools are a great help in keeping up to date and developing our database of fellows and alumni. So please help us stay connected by joining the “BAEF Alumni Group” on LinkedIn (http://tinyurl.com/7gfh3xm) to receive the latest BAEF news and events, and post any interesting news or job opportunities. On Facebook you can become a friend of our “BAEF Alumni in the US” Facebook page (http://tinyurl.com/793qmhs). Thanks!

Sofie Geeroms (BAEF Fellow 1998) and Prof. Emile Boulpaep (BAEF Fellow 1964)

Please send us your personal and/or work updates and your feedback for this newsletter. We look forward to hearing from you! The BAEF Alumni Committee in the US is composed of Alexandra Kreins, Ben Sprangers, Jean Malpas (chair), Mona Chammas, Philippe Ryckaert, Tom Schouwenaars and Yolande Daeninck. We would like to thank Julie Van den Kieboom, who recently moved to London, for the commitment and energy she brought to the alumni committee and the BAEF community. Claire Martin (BAEF Fellow 1992) and Mrs. Andre Berger If you’re interested in joining the committee, don’t hesitate to contact either one of us or contact the committee at USAlumniBAEF@gmail. com Members of the Boats of 1960 and 1961, with Prof. Emile Boulpaep


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