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Walpurgis Eve celebrations bring alumni together all over the world

2 June 2015

During the last weeks of April, Uppsala University alumni chapters gathered in venues all over the world to celebrate the Swedish tradition Walpurgis Eve. Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Addis Ababa and San Francisco all saw popular alumni festivities.

In Seoul, attendants of the Korea-Sweden Excellence Seminar were treated to a combined alumni and pre-departure event, as some twenty UU Alumni met up to mingle and reminisce at the Hotel President on April 22. Also present were Professor Kristina Edström and Professor Peter Lindblad from the University, as well as representatives from the International Office and Alumni Fundraising.

Challenging quizzes about Uppsala University were highlights of the Beijing and Shanghai events, which took place on April 28 and 29, respectively. In Beijing, Dr. Lisbeth Hansson and Dr. Inger Persson joined around thirty alumni at the Xuxian Lou restaurant, while the equally successful alumni get-together in Shanghai is soon to see a follow-up in the form of the Swedish Academic Collaboration Forum.

Vice-Chancellor Eva Åkesson wrapped up her visit to Hong Kong by partaking in the celebrations at the newly established Hong Kong Alumni Chapter. The event, which was preceded by a week full of meetings and appearances for the Vice-Chancellor, was held at the Club Lusitano in Central. Guest speaker at the meet-up was Lars Nittve, Museum Director of M+ in Hong Kong, and former Director of Moderna Museet in Stockholm and Tate Modern in London.

In Addis Ababa, a special reception for alumni was held in the residence of the Swedish Ambassador to Ethiopa on April 28. The alumni were entertained by a mock ceremony where Ambassador Jan Sadek pretended to be Vice-Chancellor Eva Åkesson, waving his student cap before donning it in the traditional manner. The turnout was thirty-four alumni, representing all faculties but Education, and co-organizer Lena Wallensteen and her husband Professor Peter Wallensteen also joined the proceedings as representatives of Uppsala University. Now, some of the attending alumni are looking into the possibilities of starting an Ethiopian Alumni Chapter.

The US also saw its share of the festivities. In both San Francisco and Minneapolis, successful Walpurgis meet-ups were held among alumni of Uppsala University.