#WeAreAllWebster. What does this trending phrase mean? Coined by President Stroble, it has come to mean that when you are a part of Webster, as you are, you are not alone in this world. You have a global family. It means that when you are a student who will need to develop a career in a globally interconnected world, you are not a stranger to the culture or the skills needed to navigate the requirements or scope of the career opportunities in other countries and governments.
This is different than simply having an excellent study abroad program. Webster has locations all over the world where our esteemed faculty nurture and educate students. Webster also serves as an asset to and is invested in the communities in which we live and work, by developing partnerships with businesses that are doing cutting-edge work.
To introduce celebrating the unique heritage of being part of this global family, let’s explore one of the largest milestones of this Webster tradition that set the stage for the educational landscape that exists today at Webster – the creation of Webster University Geneva.
The University’s first European campus opened in Geneva in 1978. Today, Webster University Geneva is the largest campus outside of the United States where 400 students from over 60 countries come to learn and live together in a community engaged by faculty representing 25 nations.
The campus offers classrooms, academic offices, recording and photographic studios, a cafeteria, a fitness center, a student recreational area, and a library consisting of a physical collection of over 25,000 items supported by an accredited Librarian and staff.
In addition to creating a vibrant classroom culture, Webster also offers a unique and global educational experience by providing an American-style education in European classrooms. However, uncommon to the local university culture, student life at Webster Geneva is more than just sitting in class. It is about participating in student activities and assuming leadership opportunities. Student and faculty communities plan and organize a wide range of events and activities to entertain, inform and challenge students from parties, ski trips, academic conferences, forums and movie nights to clubs and leadership retreats. By participating in these events, students have opportunities to strengthen friendships, meet experts and develop an unparalleled professional network.
Webster University Geneva is located in a park-like setting in the town of Bellevue, just an 8-minute train ride from central Geneva. The secure and tranquil setting is a short walk from Lake Leman with spectacular views of the Swiss Alps, Mont Blanc and Lake Geneva.
As with other European campuses, Webster Geneva is primarily the only education-focused institution surrounded by such well-established neighbors. This provides a unique opportunity for Webster to make long-lasting and mutually beneficial partnerships, and allows students to connect to the culture and history that each local European community has to offer. Each of Webster’s European campuses come with a unique set of needs, accreditation requirements and benefits for Webster students.
A benefit of Webster Geneva is its close proximity to, yes, the United Nations and the Swiss Alps, but also to some of the finest luxury brands in the world.
In 2006, Richemont International SA, owner of some of the world’s most prominent luxury maisons, moved its headquarters next door to Webster Geneva. A company with a heritage rooted in knowledge, experience and tradition, Richemont engages with Webster as a local and global community partner to provide and promote scholarship and optimal sustainability for the University.
For a decade, Richemont has supported 40 students through scholarships, annually hosting lunches at their exquisite facilities and presenting Montblanc pens to graduating scholars who have academically excelled at Webster. Additionally, the company hosts the Webster Society Dinners for scholarship donors and other patrons of Webster Geneva.
“I was lucky to receive a scholarship from Richemont for the 2015-16 academic year,” explains Jessica Wright, International Relations major from Orange, NSW, Australia. “I also attended the 2015 Webster Society Dinner at Richemont, which was a wonderful opportunity to thank the donors and learn more about Richemont’s work. Having the support from Richemont has been integral to my time at Webster University. Without such generosity I would have found it difficult to finish my degree.”
A member of the Geneva Scholars Program, Jess described her passionate post-graduation plans. “ In addition to my IR major, I have earned certificates in photojournalism, human rights and leadership. I would ideally love to dedicate my life towards helping others, using education as a way to help every child create the life they dream of living.”
Suzanne Levesque is Webster’s partner at Richemont, utilizing her role to ensure student success by facilitating opportunities for scholarships, internships, and employment. She has been instrumental in both forging new and strengthening existing donor and corporate relationships for Webster in Geneva and in markets where both operate.
“We share a common street, and through a neighborly spirit, Richemont provides advice, scholarship gifts, internships, and various other supports,” expresses Provost, Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer Julian Schuster. “Of greatest value to our students, Richemont provides students with the opportunity and commitment to experience an education based in theoretical knowledge and practical experience, in alignment with Webster University’s educational model.”
“With its family luxury brands, Richemont provides a fertile ground for our graduates to test their knowledge and competencies as they embark in and advance their professional careers.”
Richemont leadership meets regularly with Webster University leadership including School of Communications Dean Eric Rothenbuhler, President Stroble, Provost Schuster, as well as Clementina Machado, Director of Geneva Campus. Meetings have led to countless internships for students as well as hiring of Webster alumni. Upholding Webster University’s values of resiliency, global citizenship and individual excellence, Richemont leadership is committed to develop and engage its people for their own individual excellence and employability in a constantly changing global industry.
Partnerships, such as the one with Richemont, are both the catalyst and the embodiment of Webster University’s education of global citizens.