Alumni reunite overseas

Marquette's Club of London Inaugural Reception met Friday, October 15 at the Horniman Pub in London. Courtesy of Belton Flournoy

Normally, when a group of former Marquette students gets together for an evening in a bar, it’s not a university-sponsored activity. Thankfully, for the newly formed Marquette Club of London, Friday night’s inaugural reception at The Horniman Pub was an exception.

The event, a reunion of sorts for 15 Marquette alumni who live in the U.K., was coordinated by Belton Flournoy, a College of Business Administration 2003 alumnus, and Martha Moore, a senior alumni engagement officer at Marquette. The university provided food and drink at the event.

“Everyone was just excited to come together,” Flournoy said. “Once Marquette, always Marquette.”

Before he moved to London this summer, Flournoy was a volunteer for Marquette’s Young Alumni Association and a member of its National Alumni Board of Directors. He was transferred to London as part of his work for the technology risk consulting firm Protiviti.

“When I knew he was transferred to London, I e-mailed him,” Moore said. “Sometimes we know we have alumni in other countries but not all of them step forward.”

Flournoy worked quickly to organize the event, sending out invitations to alumni and finding 25 “new” alumni through the website LinkedIn. There are more than 50 Marquette alumni living in the London area, and more than 80 total in Europe.

Moore said international coordination was also key in organizing the reception.

“When you’re in a foreign country, sometimes expectations are different,” she said. “How do these alumni want to stay connected with each other? We still want to have a presence. We don’t just want to have a party and then leave.”

Flournoy said he hopes the event can help broaden the Marquette community.

“Two recent graduates just came out here two months ago,” he said. “Now they have people they can reach out to, ask questions to. I hope that us having such a strong London network now inspires other people around the world to say, ‘Hey, maybe there are people from Marquette in my area too.’”

Alumni events have already been held in Paris, Beijing, Shanghai, Madrid and Darmstadt, Germany. More are planned for Nov. 11 in Toronto, March 12 in Madrid, and sometime in May in Geneva.

The London club plans to meet up on Jan. 29, National Marquette Day, for its own “International Marquette Day,” and to discuss future events. The group also hopes to connect with the 13 Marquette students currently studying abroad in London.

“Being overseas makes it difficult to stay connected with the MU community,” said Marek Krawczyk, MSA ’04, in an e-mail.

Krawczyk, who lives in London and works for the accounting firm Deloitte, helped Flournoy organize the event.

“Anything that brings MU people together will help to ensure that we can feel close to that community even if we can’t physically be at campus or attend local alumni events,” he said.

Moore agreed.

“Marquette cares about its alumni wherever they are,” she said. “Just because you’re outside the boundaries of the U.S. doesn’t mean you’re outside of our thoughts.”