With more than 13,500 students passing through its doors since 1959, The American International School · Vienna takes pride in its alumni. Graduates have gone on to worldwide accomplishment and fame, many directly crediting their experience at AIS for providing the support and inspiration to achieve their goals.
To maximize the potential of this powerful group, AIS is embarking on a multi-platform outreach project to optimize the experience and expertise of its former students. The project will leverage alumni support to further advance the school’s mission to nurture, include, challenge, and respect.
The education I received at AIS not only prepared me for and helped me to achieve a Harvard degree, it also prepared me for a career in global business.
Class of 1967 graduate Thomas Stemberg, the founder and CEO of Staples, Inc.
AIS has given many business leaders and entrepreneurs their start. Both Aerin Lauder and Jane Lauder — whose father was the U.S. Ambassador to Austria — attended AIS and are now directors of the multi-billion dollar cosmetics company Estee Lauder. Princess Kiko — the former Ms. Kiko Kawashima when she attended AIS — married the crown prince of Japan and now acts as one of the county’s chief diplomats in her role as Her Imperial Highness. Hannah Thalhammer (’09) runs “Klein aber Hannah,” the most successful YouTube channel in Austria.
Hollywood also has come calling for AIS graduates. AIS alumnae and publicist Emily McDonald (’02) and her team won the Oscar at the 2017 Academy Awards for the documentary feature “OJ: Made in America.” Cinematographer Andrew Wegst (’85) and his team won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Cinematography: Documentary for the film “Super Hummingbirds.” Prashant Nair (’94) won the 2015 Sundance Dramatic Audience Award for his film “Umrika.” World-famous oboist Blair Tindall’s (’78) memoir is the basis for the Amazon television series “Mozart in the Jungle,” which has earned both Golden Globe and Emmy awards.
Former AIS student and Grammy-nominated multi-platinum recording artist Bryan Adams was slated to graduate in 1976, and some believe his famous song “Summer of ’69” could be based on a trip he took with friends while living in Austria.
Zeynep Gurkok-Mullner (’87) is the manager of AIS alumni affairs. As a fellow graduate, she intuitively embraces the school’s shared history. “AIS prepared me perfectly for my life: the international atmosphere, the student-teacher relationships, the workload,” she says.
It was the best foundation I could have had for my university, work and private life.
Zeynep Gurkok-Mullner, AIS alumni affairs manager
Alumni stay involved with AIS through numerous school-sponsored channels, in-person and online, at reunions and AIS-coordinated social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. In addition to the Vienna-based reunions, class representatives organize AIS events all across the world. Networking is an invaluable resource to fellow graduates.
At AIS, the most important aspect of alumni involvement is personal, says Zeynep: “Our graduates are the best word-of-mouth ambassadors for our school.”