More than 70 BU alumni, friends and family descended on Belgium’s famous Chateau de Freyr on April 29 for inauguration and university updates by SMG’s Senior Associate Dean Michael Lawson.
Hosted by Brussels-based engineer Baron Axel Bonaert (GSM `79) and his wife Maryjoseph, the event also drew Willis Eayrs (MET `88), president of BU’s Alumni Association of Germany to the one of the most scenic and ornate castles of the Meuse Valley, established in the 14th century, Belgium’s Chateau de Freyr.
"Boston University has long been recognized as a leader in enrollment of international students among American universities and as an institution with great esteem abroad,” said Lawson at the reception. “Currently, the university ranks eighth among American colleges and universities in international student enrollment with over 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 150 countries. The university also boasts a quarter of a million alumni living throughout the world with more than 16,000 currently residing outside of the U.S. and approximately 350 living in Belgium alone.
“Boston University’s esteemed international reputation and the growing strength of over 40 alumni associations abroad allow social and professional networking opportunities to exist for alumni returning to their homelands with an American education.”
Bonaert, who with his two siblings inherited the castle and 12 acres of land on the west bank of the Meuse in 1987, has since deeded the estate to Domaine de Freyr, a foundation that allows the family to stay actively involved in the property without assuming ownership’s financial burden.