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Quai d’Orsay Learning Commons Opening Celebrations

Officially Launch AUP’s Flagship

On Thursday, March 21, 2019, The American University of Paris’s new flagship building, the Quai d’Orsay Learning Commons, officially opened its doors, welcoming people from across the AUP community to three celebrations spread throughout the day. Visitors had the chance to explore the University’s new home on the Seine – the pinnacle of a five-year campus redevelopment plan – while enjoying live music and delicious food and drink.

The Quai connects to the Combes Student Life Center via a spectacular glass atrium, bridging the two buildings to create a combined Student Life and Learning Commons. Visitors to the atrium enjoyed canapés while viewing the Vertical Garden – a green wall, funded by the classes of the 1970s, that rises above the space on the Combes side of the building – and the newly expanded Fine Arts Gallery, where the winning entries in a competition to represent the Quai artistically were proudly on display.

AUP students, staff and faculty – past and present – attended the celebrations, along with parents of current students, friends of the University, visiting dignitaries and leaders from the Parisian international community. Upon entering the building, visitors had the option to take part in a scavenger hunt designed to introduce them to the services in the Quai: from the revamped AUP Library, integrated in and among other student services over four floors of the development, to the Omid & Gisel Kordestani Rooftop Conference Center, with its beautiful views over Invalides and the Grand Palais.

The Quai d’Orsay Learning Commons is evidence of AUP’s increasing global reach and showcases its unique offering of an American-style education in a Parisian setting. We were thrilled to have so many valued community members attending the events on the day. At the midpoint of each celebration, President Celeste Schenck gave a speech expressing what the development means to the University. “This beautiful 1930s paquebot of a building, moored to Combes and on the Seine, is the starting place, or navigation deck, for our AUP global explorers,” she said. She invited attendees to raise a glass to the hard work of people across the AUP community who helped make the vision a reality.