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53 years after the creation of the school, the School's Students'Association was created

The school was founded in 1819, but the Student Association for the students and alumni of Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris was only created in 1872. Its first assembly was held on March 15, in the presence of 76 graduates.

The idea of creating a student/alumni association had been addressed several times when Gervais de Caen (1864-1867) was Dean, but nothing concrete had been set up before a field trip to the north of France during which several students launched the initiative of founding a structure similar to those which existed in other business schools.

Headquarters and Fees of an international association

The Association’s headquarters were set up in the school’s premises (Rue Amelot at the time). Only graduates, final year students, and professors could be members. Paul Laffitte, a proxy of the Eichtal Bank and a laureate of the Académie Française, was the first president, and Joseph Garnier, a former student, economist and politician, was honorary president.

The membership fee was 10 francs, but members could acquire the title of member in perpetuity by paying their fees in a lump sum, fixed at 200 francs.1

It is worthy of note that from the very beginning the Association had an international reach: Ohannès Tuyssuzian, the vice-president, was a member the Ottoman Imperial Commission.

The association's objectives

One of the association’s first objectives was to focus on student relations. From 1872 onwards, a prize was awarded to the student with the highest grades in political economy. Two years later, the Association paid the sum of 200 francs towards the purchase of books for the school’s library.

The First Banquet

A directory was compiled in the first year, and a general assembly and banquet were included in the articles of association. The 1872 banquet took place at the Hôtel du Louvre. As there was no internet at the time, the principle of a postal vote was included in the rules of association. For the election of board members, a ballot paper, which was annual at first and subsequently quarterly, was distributed to graduates from 1876 onwards.

March 2, 1903

The Alumni Association of Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris was recognized as an establishment in the public interest by a decree which was signed by Emile Loubet, the French President, on March 2, 1903.

And Now

All these years later, the Alumni Association of ESCP now lists 55,000 graduates in 150 countries; it is a close-knit, active community operating in a host of fields. At the outset it was reserved for Business School graduates but was then opened to all the school’s bachelor students, postgraduates and PhD students.

1 In this way, the question of lifelong enrolment was settled when the school was created.